PROVIDING CHILDREN IN LEBANON WITH A POLIO-FREE FUTURE

by Michel Jazzar, Rotary International Representative to theUnited Nations

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  1. I participated in the second round of the polio vaccination campaign that took place in Lebanon between 6 and 10 December 2013, organized by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WHO with the support of almost 200 volunteers from Rotary and Rotaract Clubs. ...
  2. I participated in the second round of the polio vaccination campaign that took place in Lebanon between 6 and 10 December 2013, organized by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WHO with the support of almost 200 volunteers from Rotary and Rotaract Clubs. The expansive awareness campaign was approved by theInternational Polio Committee and funded by the Rotary Foundation.
    Thevaccination campaign was really one of the most intense moments in my years ofbeing a Rotary member. I’ve experienced many intense and high-pressuresituations from the day I was appointed as a Lebanon Polio Committee member. Ihandled the polio virus outbreak in Syria and its neighboring countries andmost recently, dropped two drops of medicine into a child’s mouth to vaccinatehim against polio.
    Thevaccination campaign took place on 6th of December, 2013 in my village, Meziara, which is nestled on amountain in North Lebanon. The local community has such great respect for ourorganization that the municipal council named one of village’s streets"Rotary International" in 2001 as a gesture of thanks following thedonation of an ambulance and garbage collection vehicle.
    It isat Meziara that I truly became a Rotarian despite my 36 years of membership inRotary and Rotaract Clubs. Taking part in a vaccination campaign is ahumanitarian act that you do with pride, confidence, belonging, recognition,citizenship, love, but also commitment and engagement. Two drops, I mean reallytwo drops, are enough to make you feel noble and recognized in the world oftrue human solidarity. In few moments you realize the vision of the Polio Plusprogram - the eradication of polio.
    When Ileft the two schools where the vaccinations took place, I heard the cries ofjoy from kids playing in the yards, all happy, safe and carefree for tomorrow.They have been immunized against polio through Rotary members and people ofgood will around the world.
    Somethingthat really struck me during the vaccination campaign was when a 5-year-old boyasked me with fear in his eyes, “Is it a needle?” When I showed him thevaccine’s bottle, he smiled, opened his mouth with confidence, swallowed thetwo drops, looked at me tenderly and said “Thank you."
    ThroughRotary, kids are immunized and are able to enjoy life without fear ofcontracting the crippling disease of polio. Through Rotary I will remember themost beautiful moments of human solidarity. I invite you to live and sharethese outstanding and remarkable Rotary moments.
  3. Feedback, questions? - jazzar@micheljazzar.com
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