ABUJA, NIGERIA--(Marketwired - Oct 25, 2016) - Sir Emeka Offor, founder of the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation and Rotary International Polio Ambassador, issued the following letter to Rotarians to extend upon World Polio Day:
Dear Fellow Rotarians and Friends of Rotary:
One year ago, Nigeria had a zero record of any poliovirus transmission. It was an exciting time in our long and arduous history of anti-polio war. Before this, polio transmission was rampant. With Nigeria being a reservoir for the virus, the apparent uncontrolled transmission rate threatened to take a worsening turn, reaching even across national borders.
Upon learning of the devastating effect of the disease on the Nigerian child, I was touched beyond imagination. I had to get involved. Thus far, my total contributions to Rotary International, which is at the forefront of the fight against polio, have exceeded $3.6 million. This includes donations to the Center for Peace & Conflict Resolution, for the safe motherhood, maternal and child health, Polio Speaking Book and disability utility tricycles.
Many had labored for years before I joined Rotary, and our shared efforts paid significant dividends during 2014 and 2015. However, despite our cautious optimism, we received news this past August of three new cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis of wild poliovirus Type 1 from Borno State. This major setback resets the timetable for the path toward polio-free certification.
The new cases in Borno are a reminder that until poliovirus is completely eradicated, our children remain at risk. We must therefore not relent. There is no better time to refocus, re-strategize and fight than now.
I applaud the efforts put forward by the Rotary Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and many other local and international donor organs that ceaselessly support anti-polio initiatives. The Nigerian Federal Government rolled out up to N9.8 billion to support National Primary Health Care Development Agency in its response plan to ensure that up to 56 million children are vaccinated. Volunteer Community Mobilizers have been deployed in the scale-up exercise.
As we mark World Polio Day this week, I call on Rotarians in Nigeria and all over the world to stand together and invest time and resources judiciously towards the success of the End Game strategy. I urge all Rotarians to disavow complacency in our quest for a better world. Our shared commitment is of immense necessity at this time. As the Rotary International Polio Ambassador, I am convinced that we have a chance to rally each other and the nation to see that we finish what we started.
We must defeat polio. The time is now.
Sir Emeka Offor
About the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation
The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Abuja, FCT and Oraifite, Anambra State, Nigeria. The Foundation seeks to alleviate the suffering of the less privileged through philanthropy, and focuses primarily on giving support and hope to those in need irrespective of tribe, creed, religion and nation. The Foundation has affected the lives of many Nigerians through its domestic programs and projects, which include youth empowerment, Widows Cooperative, education, and health services and infrastructural development. For more information, visit http://sireofforfoundation.org or like us at https://www.facebook.com/siremekaofforfoundation.