Submitted by the Fulton Rotary Club
At a recent meeting of the Fulton Rotary Club, Rotarian Dr.Ken Kurtz, introduced us to his son, Rotarian Evan Kurtz, an assistant District Governor and member of the Dryden Rotary Club.
Evan spoke to us about the campaign to eradicate polio from the face of the earth. There are three strains of polio viruses with strain one being the crippling one. There are still four countries in the world that still contain the virus. They are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and India. The World Health Organization is in charge of distributing the vaccine, but Rotary International is the main financing organization.
Each year Rotary has a National Immunization Day(NID) and they ask Rotarians to travel to these countries to help distribute the vaccine.
Evan was able to go and help immunize young children in India last February. He flew into Delhi with 33 other Rotarians from all over the United States and Canada. They spend two and half weeks there administering the polio vaccine and doing various community projects, as well as, seeing the country.
On one Sunday the team was able to distribute the vaccine to all of the children in a small village. This village was about one hundred miles from the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. This one day is a special event with a parade and rallies in the streets. They do this to encourage the mothers to have their babies immunized.
Evan spoke about the culture of the people and the difference between our country and theirs. As he was giving out the vaccine he realized that he and his fellow Rotarian were the only people there that spoke English. He didnâ€™t understand a word that the people were telling him. They were very friendly and treated the Rotarians with great respect.
Evan said it was quite an experience, and that he was glad that he was able to participate in a National Immunization Day (NID) in India.