A 24-member team of doctors is ready to fly to capital city Abuja in Nigeria on 2nd December, to conduct over 400 polio-corrective surgeries.
The team of India-Nigeria Polio Surgeries Medicare Mission comprises 12 ortho-surgeons, five anesthesiologists, one pathologist, one general surgeon, and five volunteers from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttrakhand.
The team of Doctors and Volunteers for this mission is from Districts 3131, 3132, 3080, 3201 & 3150 in India, who are being assisted by Rotarians from District 9125 & 9140 in Nigeria, with PDG Rtn. Dr. Deepak Purohit from District 3131 as the Chief Project Coordinator, and PDG Rtn. Dr. Rajiv Pradhan as the contact person for this Matching Grant project.
Inter-continental Medicare Missions were conceived by Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo in 1998, and since then he has led various medicare missions to different countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Cambodia, Madagascar, Lesotho, Congo, Rwanda, etc., besides leading similar missions to the interiors and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh.
Nigeria is one of the three remaining endemic countries in the world along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so long as there is even one country in the world affected by polio, it would continue to endanger the lives of the children everywhere, Rtn. Saboo feels.
This polio corrective surgery project is different; since it is for the first time a single speciality surgical team is going to Africa.
“Certain sections of the population in Nigeria, which is still a polio endemic country, are resisting immunization efforts due to several misconceptions, and we hope that an initiative like polio corrective surgeries would help us send a strong message to the people and create an atmosphere of faith in this world-wide efforts to immunize children against polio,” Mr Saboo informed.
Similar situation in India was tackled in UP and Bihar through Rotary’s efforts to conduct similar camp in which nearly 4,000 children and adults underwent polio-corrective surgeries, he added.
“India as a country was always looked upon as a nation that would be looking for help from the outside help but with a whole lot of talent and expertise available in the medical field, the medical mission provided us the opportunity to reach across the borders with medical care for the people in need,” Rajendra K. Saboo says.
The doctors from India would be taking along specialized surgical equipment, medical supplies and would also train the local doctors in the procedures as well as making of prosthetic limbs.
From our District 3080, the team members include Rtn. Dr. J.P. Nawani from Dehradun as ortho-surgeon, along with three volunteers, namely PRIP Rtn Raja Saboo, and Rtn. Charanjit Singh from Chandigarh, and Dr. S.K. Sablok from Nahan.