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By: IPP Cristina Syching, RC Roxas

“What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?” – Ralph Ellison

The core of Rotary International has always been founded on our ability to ignite relevant and timely change when it is most needed.

The End Polio campaign has been a long running banner project of Rotary International and the Philippines has played a vital role in this campaign from the very beginning. But as we enter a new generation, we are faced with the untimely negative backlash against previous vaccine rollouts, derailing successful vaccination efforts pre-Covid. And now as we are faced with the most challenging medical pandemic in our generation, how we engage not only affects our endeavors to stop Polio, but other efforts as well.

The Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the dire need to educate the population on the benefits of vaccines, but to also open opportunities in making it happen and prepare the way for future vaccine rollouts by engaging the local communities and barangays, giving them much needed experience on what it takes to enable medical outreaches like this in the future and where they need to improve. The public and private sector working together as it should.

This year, in the spirit of Transformational change, coupled with the ability to collaborate with other organizations, the Rotary Club of Roxas partnered with the Roxas City Government, The Roxas City Health Office and the Red Cross Capiz Chapter during the nationwide rollout of M.R. P.O.L.I.O. S.I.A. (Measles, Rubella, Polio Supplemental Immunization Activities).

This project had an estimated 8,040 households with children counted to be vaccinated. With this, an allocation of 2,010 MR Shots and 3,350 shots for Polio. It was a month long affair in February of this year, 2021. No less than the mayor of the City of Roxas and fellow Rotarian, Ronnie Dadivas joined us in the opening and administered the first Polio drop.

As the City Government and Red Cross-Capiz facilitated the technical and manpower, the Rotary Club of Roxas participated by providing meals for all volunteers for the entire month, spanning all barangays in the City. This was an estimated 625 meals including logistical services to the barangays active per day. The doctors from the club also extended their services during the month.

With the project successfully concluded, the Rotary Club of Roxas was awarded by the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s Committee on Health, Sanitation and Nutrition a special commendation. In gratitude for our active support and participation.

The M.R. P.O.L.I.O. S.I.A. Project achieved a phenomenal feat with 93% of the targeted households for MR successfully vaccinated and 91% for Polio. An overwhelming success during a time of quarantine.

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