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Indian doctors to conduct 400 polio corrective surgeries in Nigeria
A team of 24 doctors and volunteers would fly out of Mumbai for a 10-day medical mission to conduct polio corrective surgeries in Abuja, Nigeria.

THE TEAM of Rotarian doctors comprising of orthopedic surgeons, pathologists, anesthesiologists along with a team of volunteers would fly on December 2 morning from Mumbai to Abuja for the medical mission, which is being conducted jointly by the Indian and Nigerian Rotarians, assisted by The Rotary Foundation.

This India-Nigeria Polio Surgeries medical mission is dedicated to combat polio, generate awareness, and help the polio-affected population through corrective surgeries, informed former world president of Rotary International, Rajendra K. Saboo, who conceived the intercontinental medical missions in 1998 when he took a team of Indian doctors to Uganda. The biggest challenge today is to end polio from the world and protect our children, he added.

Nigeria is one of the three remaining endemic countries in the world along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as long as there is even one country in the world affected by polio, it would continue to endanger the lives of the children everywhere, he said.

This polio corrective surgery project is different; since it is for the first time a single specialty 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.

The team of Rotarian doctors includes 12 ortho-surgeons, five anesthesiologists, one pathologist, one general surgeon, and five volunteers from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttrakhand.

“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,” Saboo added.

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. Earlier multi-speciality medical missions went to Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Cambodia, Madagascar, Lesotho, Congo, Rwanda, etc. besides major medical camps have been organised by the team of doctors in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh.

Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business, professional, and community leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

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