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Rotary's polio eradication success inspires new approach to U.S. effort to improve maternal and child health worldwide


'Will model ourselves on your example,' USAID head announces at first-ever Rotary Day at the White House

EVANSTON, Ill., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing Rotary's leadership in immunizing the world's children against the crippling disease polio, Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, the government's primary foreign assistance agency, said a new campaign to improve maternal and child health will follow the Rotary model.

"What I am proud to announce to you is that we are going to model ourselves on your example," Dr. Shah told about 160 U.S. Rotary club members and leaders assembled for the first Rotary Day at the White House.

Just as Rotary proved to the world it was feasible to reach every child with the polio vaccine, he said, USAID plans to "reach every kid on the planet" and their mothers with a five-pronged preventive health package of bed nets to prevent malaria, routine vaccinations, nutrient-enhanced food, anti-retroviral drugs for HIV-positive mothers, and a simple breathing device to prevent birth asphyxia (death due to decreased oxygen). The initiative will launch June 14.

For Rotary Day at the White House, the Administration for first time combined two weekly White House public engagement programs - Champions of Change and the Community Leaders Briefing series -- to recognize the contributions of one organization: the humanitarian service group Rotary International.

Ten Rotary club members were honored as Champions of Change for their volunteer work locally and abroad: Terrence Allen, St. Joseph, Mich.; Jim Fulgham, Arlington, Texas; Noelle Galperin, Coral Gables, Fla.; Anil Garg, Simi Valley, Calif.; Richard J Kemme, Greeley, Colo.; David Kester, Anchorage, Alaska; Henry Lowentritt, Metairie, La.; Carolyn Crowley Meub, Rutland, Vt.; Fary Moini, San Diego, Calif.; and Fred Thompson, Manakin-Sabot, Va

Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders committed to make the world a better place through humanitarian service. For images and broadcast quality video visit Rotary's Media Center.  

SOURCE  Rotary


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Information in this article was accurate in April 20, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.