WHO and RID 2650 work together in child immunization and dengue control and prevention in Region 8 - Philippines

Since forming in 1905, Rotary International has been committed to creating positive and lasting change in communities worldwide. For over 100 years it has taken on various humanitarian, environmental and development challenges around the world, and has aided a wide range of international organizations.

One of its member clubs, Rotary International District 2650 has been particularly passionate in the elimination of polio around the world. Through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and in close cooperation with the World Health Organization, RID 2650 has focused efforts in the Western Pacific and has time and again visited the Philippines to give their support.

Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda

RID 2650 visits Tacloban and Eastern Samar

On September 22 and 23, RID 2650 along with the Rotary Club of Tacloban and the WHO, visited immunization activities in Eastern Samar. As support for the September ‘Ligtas sa Tigdas at Polio’ nationwide child immunization campaign, the RID 2650 has donated 27 heavy-duty cold boxes to Eastern Samar, and 2 ice pack freezers to both Tacloban and Borongan.

“When Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines last year, we knew we had to do something,” said Kingo Iwamoto, RID 2650 International Service Committee Chairperson. “This is our second time in the Philippines and we’re working hand in hand with the Rotary of Tacloban and WHO to help rebuild these affected communities.”

WPRO’s Dr Go Tanaka, WHO Philippines’ Dr Sigrun Roesel and the RID 2650 members in Barangay Lawaan, Eastern Samar. Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda

The 29 delegates from Japan were accompanied by Dr Go Tanaka of the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region, Dr Sigrun Roesel of WHO Philippines and the members of the Rotary Club of Tacloban. They visited health centers in the municipalities of Lawaan and Balangiga, Eastern Samar, and the Motocross bunkhouse in Tacloban, where all delegates gave OPV (oral polio vaccine) in a ceremonial event to the children in the said areas.

Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda
Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda
WHO Philippines, RID 2650, Rotary Club of Tacloban and the health workers of Barangay Lawaan, Eastern Samar. Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda

Apart from the donations for the immunization campaign, RID 2650 also has offered support through the WHO to strengthen existing dengue awareness and control actions in schools including at the Marasbaras National High School in Tacloban City.

The students of Marasbaras National High School show their gratitude to RID 2650 for their donations especially for the efforts on dengue control and prevention. Photo: WHO/J. Zepeda

The plan is to re-activate/establish the ‘little dengue brigade’ in schools wherein children will be trained / educated on adopting key behaviours and practices on dengue prevention, and use them as agents of behaviour change in their families, communities, barangays and cities.