Wednesday, December 12, 2007

700,000 Volunteers Immunize Children In Bangladesh

Carl Good's latest report from Bangladesh
Others are waiting to use the computer so this will be short. We have finished our program in Bangladesh and will fly to Calcutta tomorrow for more visits to hospitals, orphanages and a hospice that was run by mother Teressa. The experience has been fantastic.

I have stayed with a Vet. who is a Rotary member and president of his club to minimize expenses. During the day we would do the immunizations. The first day the whole country was tackled seeking out every child under 5. This required 700,000 volunteers!!! Has any thing like this ever been done in the US? Our group is a small part but Rotary in Bangladesh is the major driver and participant in this program.

Before the NIDs one in 20 children in Bangladesh had polio. For four years due to this program, there were none. Then, several cases were seen in 2006 that were imported from India. Since then there has been none. The only way to keep polio in check is to make sure that the children continue to be immunized. We have met with WHO and UNICEF leaders in Bangladesh. They are expanding the program to other childhood immunizations.

The pictures attached show me doing an immunization, the cooler carried by the volunteers and paid ($1.30 per day) workers, some of the children in a slum being helped and the Rotary family that have put me up an taken care of me during my visit. Bangladesh is full of people. I have so much more to show and tell but time is limited tonight so this is it. My going was spur of the moment decision but one of the best decisions I ever made.

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