Todd Lands, a Saline Rotarian, brings the Polio Flame

Photos by Milan Eagle Media Milan Rotarians are showing “this close” to putting an end to polio throughout the world.

Photos by Milan Eagle Media
Milan Rotarians are showing “this close” to putting an end to polio throughout the world.

Submitted by Ashish Sarkar
Rotary Club of Ann Arbor taken from the District Newsletter giving a little back ground on the Polio Flame created for Rotary International. Milan Rotary is part of District 6380.

The past 18 months have been extremely welcoming with the good news in Rotary International’s PolioPlus initiative. Last year, World Health Organization (WHO) – a partner in the PolioPlus initiative – announced that Southeast Asia including India was polio-free. Then in August of 2015, we received the good news that Nigeria, the largest country in Africa, had no new cases of polio in last 12 months and was declared polio-free. Shortly after that, WHO announced that the entire continent of Africa was polio-free.
That leaves the world with only two polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Even in these countries, the rates of new cases of polio are significantly less than in the past years. This means more than 97 percent of the world population is now polio-free.
We are making true progress toward making the world polio-free. That is a remarkable achievement, especially for 1.2 million Rotarians around the world.
To celebrate these very successful events, a group of Rotarians have created a Polio Flame (torch) for RI. It is similar to the Olympic Flame that we witness every four years. This Polio Flame is making the rounds around the world. My wife Norma, who is a Rotarian, and I saw the mesmerizing effect this Polio Flame has on Rotarians, when we attended the RI annual convention in Sao Paulo last June.
When the torch, with its flame on, was being brought to the podium and handed over to RI President Huang, there was pin-drop silence from the 14,000 attendees. And then the crowd erupted with thunderous applause that could have been heard around the world. It was one of the most moving
Ceremonies I have ever witnessed. After the plenary session, I immediately requested to bring the flame to our District 6380. I was told to be in the queue for receiving the torch.

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