Greetings from Melbourne, Australia, where Maureen and I are now attending the International Convention. We just completed the parade of flags and then paid tribute to Canada, the home of Rotary International President Jennifer Jones.
For those of you who might think I gained a substantial amount of weight on this trip (which could be true), I had tucked my backpack under my jacket due to the rain after lunch with Ann and John Tabor, Gail and Mickey Ulmer and Maureen.
At the Zone 33/34 social event, I had the chance to share a beer with President-Elect Pete Stanton and President-Nominee Ed Aldridge from the Rotary Club of New Smyrna Beach.
After years of engagement with local communities to battle outbreaks and provide essential services, female frontline workers in Pakistan are now being offered a seat at the policymaking table. The benefits are likely to last well after polio is finally defeated. However, I am disappointed to report that on April 14 two new cases of Wild Polio virus were reported in Nangarhar province, making them the first cases in Afghanistan this year. There were 20 cases reported last year. The cases are from Batikot and Kot districts in Nangarhar, in the Eastern Region, the only region that remains endemic for Wild Polio Virus circulation in the country. A detailed field investigation is ongoing to better identify population groups among whom virus may be persisting. So far this year this makes a total of three cases of Wild Polio Virus. The other case was reported earlier in Pakistan.