I have been a member of Rotary International for the past three years. During that time I have met several people working on malaria that are also Rotarians. Rotary International is heavily engaged in the polio eradication campaign (through its international campaign 'End polio now' and has been instrumental in getting polio vaccination underway in the 1980s when the disease was still rampant.
Today there are only three countries remaining with cases (Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and so the success of the campaign (currently also supported by the Gates Foundation) is huge. It is fabulous that India which had massive problems with polio was completely free of the disease last year when no new cases were reported.
Like Guinea worm polio may be following the fate of smallpox in the years to come. Mankind's victory over some of the most debilitating diseases on the planet.
This week I am writing about Rotary International because my own club donated 660 dollars for our little campaign at MalariaWorld to support Soniran to study malaria drug resistance at Cornell University. This got me thinking....
Since we are more than 8300 MalariaWorld members today, it is guaranteed that quite a few of you are working on malaria and at the same time are Rotarians. I would like to know who of our members is a Rotarian so that we can join forces - when the 'End Polio Now' campaign ends, I have a new disease in mind that we can tackle. No need to guess what that is.
So if you are a Rotarian, let us know. Who knows what collectively we may come up with. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the town where your club is based as well as your District ID.