Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Though Ethiopia has remained polio free since April 2008, the country’s susceptibility to polio importation, particularly in border regions, remains a point of concern.

The Minister of Health, Tedros Adhanom (PhD), called upon Rotractors to reaffirm  their commitment to build a better image of Ethiopia, in a speech he made at the debriefing ceremony of Supplementary Immunization Activities held at the National Palace on October 21, 2012.

“I am moved and delighted by the quality of work and support of Rotarians who have been deployed to Gambela and Assosa. Most of them have been coming back every year for the past 15 years. It  takes a lot of commitment. As Ethiopians, are we really contributing to our nation like Rotarians? I call upon all Rotractors to reaffirm  their commitment to our country in order to change its image,” said the Minister, visibly cheerful.

Led by District Governor-Elect Ezra Teshome from Seattle, USA, every year for the past 15 years Rotarians from the US, Canada and Hawaii have been coming to Ethiopia benevolently, on their own initiative, covering their full expenses to help launch the national polio immunization campaign and raise money.

Ezra vowed to keep coming back to Ethiopia until polio is wiped out, and this year once again he came with his long friend Ralph Monroe who served as Secretary of State for the State of Washington on their 16th trip to Ethiopia.

This year 32 Rotarians from the US and Canada came along and were deployed to Gambela and Assosa to demonstrate the efforts of Rotarians to end polio worldwide.  Ezra Teshome, District 5030 Rotarian and District Governor-Elect 2013-2014, was recently awarded World Citizen and Polio Warrior, and is a leading member of Rotary International, which has relentlessly worked to eradicate polio from the earth than any organization.

Ezra and his group not only work on the immunization campaigns, but always involve in many other projects aimed at improving health and welfare in Ethiopia. Read more