Sir Dr Emeka Offor Rotary Hall Commissioned

Sir Dr. Emeka Offor Rotary Hall Abuja was officially commissioned for use today at Rotary center. The center was solely built and handed over to the Rotary District 9125 Abuja by Sir Dr. Emeka Offor through his Foundation, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF).
This is an addition to the continuous donation to Rotary International by the foundation. Sir Dr. Emeka Offor after laying the foundation stone for Rotary secretariat at the ceremony hinted that his foundation will participate prominently towards the building of Rotary secretariat at the same center.
The ceremony was graced by Rotarians and other prominent individuals from different walks of life. Dr. Ken Nnamani (Former Senate President of the 7th Senate), Ahj. Babagana Kingibe, Mr. Akin Osinbajo (SAN), Barr. Chike Ekpelle, Hon. Tony Nwoye. Hon. Uche Oga, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku and AIG Chris Ezike Rtd were some of the dignitaries present.
Some of the Rotarians at the ceremony were present District Governor, Jumoke Bamigboye, Past District Governor (PDG)Pearl Ijeoma Okolo, PDG David Garba, PDG Joshua Hassan, PDG Kazzim Mustapha, PDG Elvis Chukwu, and PDG Peter Onukwuga. The former Rotary International President ever from Nigeria, Pa. Jonathan Majiyagbe and former PRIVP Yinka Babalola were equally present.
The Sir Dr. Emeka Offor Rotary Hall and Rotary secretariat will serve as venue for different Rotary ceremonies, house different Rotary offices and serve other purposes as well.

Africa Polio Free Certification Celebration

Goodbye Polio, Keeping Polio at Zero is the new slogan for Africa on polio. The certification celebration event is marking the official declaration of African zone as wild polio virus free.

Sir Emeka Offor who is Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria and African highest donor to Rotary for polio eradication received award for his enormous donations which contributed in no small way in making the new status a reality.

Some other dignitaries at the celebration were the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, Ekiti state governor Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire. Rotary International officials were not left out. The chairman Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee Dr. Tunji Funsho, PGD Ikponmwosa Ogiemudia - End Polio Now Coordinator, PDG Joshua Hassan, PDG Ijeoma Pearl Okoro and DG Bola Oyebade - District 9110 Governor 2020-21 were all at the ceremony. World Health organization, UNICEF, CDC and so many other organizations joined Nigeria to celebrate Africa’s new polio free status.

All efforts from today will be channeled toward keeping POLIO AT ZERO.

Congratulations to Africa.

Written by Obi Ebuka.

Photo Credit: Alex Aghomi

Sir Emeka Offor; A Worthy Soldier In The Fight Against Polio

Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it. - John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Today, the African region is being declared free of wild polio virus after Nigeria, the only polio endemic nation in the region has been free of it for 3 years. This moment’s success should not be taken for granted because in 2000 alone, Nigeria reported 637 cases of wild polio virus. Since then, there has been a consistent drop in cases occasioned by concerted efforts from different stakeholders. Globally, cases of wild polio virus fell by 99% from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 cases in 2018. The number of endemic countries also fell from 125 countries in 1988 down to just 2 today. The road to polio free African region was rough, bumpy and sometimes fatal. At a point in the fight against the scourge, there was vaccine rejection in some parts of the country as a result of misinformation. Molestation of health workers and insurgency were part of difficulties we overcame.

The declaration of African region wild polio virus free was made possible by concerted efforts from different governments, NGOs, health workers and cooperating parents. Notable among the NGOs that made this possible is Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor is very instrumental in the eradication of wild Polio virus from African region and hopefully Pakistan and Afghanistan who are the remaining endemic nations will benefit from African experience. The African success story on polio cannot be complete without mentioning how Sir Emeka Offor used his foundation to show his commitment to the cause in varying forms all through to this day. The source of his determination, devotion and zeal in the fight against polio was revealed by him in an exclusive chat with reporters on Saturday, the 1st day of March 2014 at Sir Emeka Offor Foundation headquarters in Oraifite. Sir Emeka Offor, the chairman of Chrome group answered the question on many minds which was what drives his passion and resolve to seeing that polio is irreversibly eradicated since he was never a victim or anyone close to him. In a reminiscential mood he narrated his experience in the north where he was born and how some of his childhood friends were hampered by wild Polio virus. That experience shaped the mindset he brought with him in the course of ending Polio in Africa. In his words, “I have been willing to bring joy and relief to polio survivors and to bring whatever I can in making sure Polio is defeated in Africa and the world at large. I witnessed from my childhood in the northern part of the country where I was born, polio’s capacity to ruin lives. That is why I want to make sure that this particular disease is eradicated so that children will be free from it not only in our country but the world at large.’’ The debilitating power of polio he witnessed in other children while growing up calcified his resolve to help Polio survivors become self-reliant. As time passed, he found out that Polio can be prevented through vaccination which availed him the opportunity to help finance its eradication.

His quest to see polio eradicated globally brought Rotary International to his attention and he became a member of the organization. As a Rotarian, he has used Rotary International platform to donate over $2.3 million dollars making him African highest donor and his contribution prompted Rotary to appoint him Rotary International Ambassador to Nigeria. As Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, his activities in the fight against Polio did not stop at donations but extended to his participation in every round of immunization, advocacy, celebrity endorsements for awareness and logistics for health workers. The Sir Emeka Offor Rotary hall under construction in Abuja is going on at no cost to Rotary as the foundation has taken to bear the full cost of the project. His foundation has also given out thousands of mobility aide to Polio survivors across the country and continues to support any activity or project aimed at making polio survivors become economically self-reliant. His donations and other efforts put into the fight against the scourge impelled President Muhammadu Buhari to write him a letter of thanks for his contributions. Sir Emeka Offor believes that as African region is declared free of wild polio virus, we should not let our guard down as all activities in the fight against polio like immunization, advocacy, sensitization and all logistical planning should continue in other to make sure there is no resurgence anywhere on the continent again.

Sir Emeka Offor Foundation which was founded in 1994 and incorporated in 2006 has a tripod focus on Health, Education and Empowerment and the foundation has massively done well in all these areas. Over $30 million worth of books have been distributed to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in 19 African countries including Nigeria through the education program of the foundation. The foundation has empowered thousands of widows and giving out scholarships to brilliant students while those not educationally inclined have been fixed through skill acquisition program. The foundation equally intervened during this Covid-19 pandemic with the distribution of fourteen 40 feet containers of various hospital equipment including PPE and face masks to 14 different tertiary health institutions across the country.

Congratulations to Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor and his foundation, health workers, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, the government and all other stakeholders in this historic win over polio in our continent. In the words of Sir Emeka Offor, ‘until the world becomes polio free, no child anywhere can truly be free of polio virus.’ The two remaining polio endemic countries need the support of the rest of the world to finally archive poliomyelitis where the likes of smallpox and rinderpest are in history.

Obi Ebuka Onochie

Photo Credit: Alex Aghomi

WHO Declares Nigeria Polio Free

World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Nigeria free of wild polio, following the completion of documentation for the free status.
Sir Emeka Offor Foundation committed over four millions of dollars towards eradication of polio in Nigeria. The Foundation commends all the stake holders involved in the successful eradication of this debilitating disease from our country. The Federal Government of Nigeria, Health workers, Volunteers, sponsors like Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other Foundations are the heroes for this moment.
This celebration does not mean we should let our guard down but continue to follow World Health Organization’s directives in maintaining our present status. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation commits double of any amount of money donated to Rotary international for Polio eradication which has seen Sir Emeka Offor Foundation’s donations Rotary International for the eradication of polio tripled. Rotary International has really worked very hard in the area of raising funds, public sensitization, surveillance, reporting and partnership with governments, individuals and foundations all over the world including Sir Emeka Offor Foundation.
On 21st August 2019, Nigeria marked three years without any case of wild Poliovirus. The declaration of Nigeria as Polio Free means that Nigeria has so far gone beyond three years without any child being paralyzed by the wild polio virus. In a meeting in 2019 with Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Ambassador Andrew J. Young (Former US Ambassador to the UN) who was visiting Sir Emeka Offor Foundation shared the United States success story in eradicating Polio while also commending Nigeria in their effort.
Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor was very elated at the news of certification of Nigeria as polio free nation. Nigeria for years has remained the only polio endemic nation in Africa and one of the three countries in the world alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan. “I am happy that all our efforts in eradicating polio did not go in vain and this shows that we can achieve much greater things together’ Sir Dr. Emeka offor said today at the foundation’s headquarters in Abuja. Since 2013 Sir Emeka Offor Foundation committed the first one million dollars to end Polio, a lot have been achieved and many children’s lives have been saved and today Nigeria is totally free from wild polio virus.

Obi Ebuka Onochie

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