Pak­istan po­lio vac­ci­na­tion trip ‘in­cred­i­ble’

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

De­spite her ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing cur­tailed by a se­vere tummy bug and a night­mare jour­ney back to New Zealand from Pak­istan be­cause of that, Mata­mata Ro­tary mem­ber Michelle Tan­ner says her 11-day trip was just in­cred­i­ble.

The Pak­istani peo­ple were so grate­ful to Tan­ner for com­ing over to help vac­ci­nate chil­dren against po­lio, and speak at var­i­ous events, that they lit­er­ally rolled out the red car­pet for her.

‘‘I don’t think Princess Diana could have ex­pected more,’’ Tan­ner said of the wel­com­ing com­mit­tee, com­plete with tele­vi­sion crews and cheer­ing school chil­dren.

She down­plays her ac­tions, call­ing them sim­ple. She wasn’t ex­pect­ing any fuss.

Tan­ner said she was the only New Zealand Ro­tar­ian to visit Pak­istan this year to help with po­lio vac­ci­na­tions.

Another six Ro­tar­i­ans, four from Hol­land and two from Italy, were also vac­ci­nat­ing chil­dren with her some of the time.

She said Pak­istan felt iso­lated from a lot of help from the Western world in fight­ing to get on top of the po­lio epi­demic.

Tan­ner vac­ci­nated chil­dren in some in­ter­est­ing places. A group of Ro­tar­i­ans vac­ci­nated 300 chil­dren with drops of the live po­lio virus in the La­hore zoo.

She was also walked through trains at a train sta­tion and vac­ci­nated chil­dren who didn’t have a pur­ple ink mark on their fin­ger. A pur­ple ink mark sym­bol­ises the child has been vac­ci­nated and will stay on the child’s fin­ger for a month.

Cur­rently chil­dren are vac­ci­nated ev­ery month but the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion says this will have to change to an in­jec­tion of the non-live virus at the reg­u­lar im­mu­ni­sa­tions.

She spoke at Green­wich Univer­sity and var­i­ous sem­i­nars and con­fer­ences based around po­lio.

After her trip, Tan­ner feels more in­formed about po­lio and the is­sues in Pak­istan.

She is look­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to talk about it in Mata­mata.

She ex­pects her own Mata­mata Ro­tary club will be book­ing her in to speak to them soon.

Tan­ner was in­vited to Pak­istan after the im­mu­ni­sa­tion ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ta­tor at Auck­land Univer­sity made a pre­sen­ta­tion on Ro­tary’s role in im­mu­nis­ing against po­lio and wrote an ar­ti­cle for a med­i­cal jour­nal which was seen by an over­seas Ro­tar­ian. for­ward to the to var­i­ous groups

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.