Rotarians honored for polio work in Africa and South Asia

From left to right: Ray Connell of the International District Rotary Club; Paul Ishii, President of the Rotary Club of Seattle; and Ralph Munro of the Rotary Club of Seattle (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

The Seattle Rotary Club, the largest Rotary Club in existence, honored former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, as well as six additional members of the Rotary Club International, at a dinner, hosted at the Westin Hotel on Nov. 14. Munro and the team ventured to Africa and South Asia to help eradicate polio. Each received a Paul Harris award, named after the founder of the organization.

“It’s been 18 full months without one case of polio in India,” said Munro during the dinner. “We’re down to just three countries where polio is occurring in smaller and smaller portions, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nothern Nigeria.”

Polio is an infectious disease that targets the spinal cord, often causing paralysis. A vaccine was developed in the 1950s, leading to the disease’s eradication in most of the world. Currently, there are less than 1,000 cases of polio annually. (end)

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