Brazilian model and Rotary polio ambassador Isabelli Fontana says she felt honoured to visit India and vaccinate some children against the "paralysing disease" polio. She says while the country may have been declared polio-free, the importance of immunisation must not be forgotten.
Fontana, herself a mother of two, was in the capital last week to administer life-saving polio vaccine and visited patients at St. Stephen&’s Hospital here.
“As a mother, I believe I cannot be indifferent to problems, especially the ones that have a solution. The disease has no cure, but can be prevented with vaccination,” Fontana, who became an ambassador for polio eradication in 2013, said in a statement.
"I accepted the invitation to participate in Rotary&’s global campaign because polio has to be ended everywhere. It is an achievable goal with important results to all.
“It is an honour to travel to India and vaccinate children against this paralysing disease. We cannot forget that immunisations must continue to keep polio from returning to India and being spread across the globe," she added.
During her trip, Fontana met health workers and Rotary&’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, including UNICEF and the World Health Organization, to understand how joint efforts made polio eradication in India a success and a template for future disease prevention efforts.
India was certified polio-free in March 2014.