Rotary loses a strong voice for polio eradication in Pakistan

During a visit to the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi in March, Robert Scott, chair of Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee, presents flowers to a girl after immunizing her against polio. Behind is Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the center until his tragic death in May. Photo courtesy of Aziz Memon

During a visit to the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi in March, Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, presents flowers to a girl after immunizing her against polio. Behind is Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the center until his tragic death in May. Photo courtesy of Aziz Memon

By Robert S. Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee

Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, died tragically in an attack on 13 May that also wounded his daughter and brother.

Although not a Rotarian, Waheed, as he was known to friends, was a member of the Rotary Community Corps sponsored by the Rotary Club of Karachi. Due largely to his vision and leadership, the center not only provides immunization against polio and other diseases but also operates a school, a food program, and a vaccine storage facility.

I had the privilege of meeting Waheed a little over two months ago during a visit to the polio resource center. He briefed me on the center’s achievements, including its success in immunizing children who would otherwise be missed and changing the minds of parents who initially refuse to let their children be vaccinated.

Aziz Memon, chair of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee, called Waheed “a committed, multitalented individual who devoted his time and energy towards the eradication of polio, mobilizing the community, and improving the quality of life in the surrounding areas.”

On behalf of Rotary, I extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Waheed’s family and friends, including the many Rotarians who knew him. His dedication and sacrifice further inspire us to continue pursuing our goal of a polio-free world.

Source: Rotary Voices

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