December 6, 2007

MVR's Carl Good Continues Polio Project

Today we visited the WHO polio headquarters in Delhi and heard a presentation from the head of the program. Then we went to the airport and flew to Dhaka Bangladesh. They said that we had to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight and they were not kidding. The process took a long time. The baggage limitation was less on this flight than the international flight so we had to pay ~$350 in excess baggage fees. But we are now in a hotel in Dhaka and tomorrow will go to the homes of Rotary members who will host us for the rest of our stay in Bangladesh.

The trip from the airport was similar to that in Delhi with incredible traffic and many beggars who would attack our bus when we were caught at a light or stopped by traffic. However, here many we selling popcorn. I didn't know that it was so popular here. Many of the buses and taxes run on compressed natural gas as in Delhi to reduce pollution.

Flying in it was amazing that there was so much water considering that we are about 200km from the shore. This is certainly a wet country.

During each immunization effort 176 million children are immunized in 3-4 days
200 million houses visited
1.1 million house to house teams
2.7 million vaccinators deployed
155,00 supervisors deployed
800,000 booths set up

This is indeed a massive effort that is done several times a year, partially because of the high birth rate in the effected areas which are primarily in the north of the country. The country of India is now bearing about 70 % of the cost which was not the case in the past.
since the program started the incidence of polio has been reduced 99% but it still exists.

Rotary has contributed over 633 million dollars to the world wide effort over the years not to mention the in country and visiting Rotary volunteers that have participated in the program at their own expense.

The Gates matching grant of 100 million is large but not as large as what has already been contributed by Rotary members.

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