The fight against polio

In this Bulletin there is some recent information on the fight against polio. 

Wild poliovirus circulates in only two countries — Afghanistan and Pakistan — where this year nine cases had been reported by June.

However there have been cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus, particularly in Africa and Asia. These cases come from a widely used oral vaccine that contains live, weakened virus that sometimes mutates to a dangerous form capable of infecting the nervous system. Neither the United States nor the United Kingdom use that vaccine, opting instead for an injectable vaccine containing inactivated virus. This vaccine can keep the virus from infecting the nervous system, but it is not as effective as the oral virus at reducing viral shedding and halting transmission, says Raul Andino-Pavlovsky, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Unfortunately cases of vaccine derived poliovirus, even though statistically incredibly unlikely, give the anti-vaccine brigade something to base their arguments on. Some members may have seen some of that material including the argument that "new ingredients" have been added. If you have seen that material and had cause to wonder then check out the link below as it may help put your mind at rest.


To ensure you get all the up to date information about our club make sure you register for the AGM meeting on Monday 17th of October. 

International Day for Disaster Reduction
Oct 13, 2022
Annual General Meeting
Oct 17, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
United Nations Day
Oct 24, 2022
World Polio Day
Oct 24, 2022
A month of Rockets and Fireworks
Nov 01, 2022 - Nov 30, 2022
Rotary Foundation Month
Nov 01, 2022 - Nov 30, 2022
Meeting - 14 November 2022
Nov 14, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:45 PM
A month of Giving
Dec 01, 2022 - Dec 31, 2022
Rotary Disease Prevention and Treatment Month
Dec 01, 2022 - Dec 31, 2022
View entire list
Scribes Report
Talk back contributors (and some hosts) would have us believe New Zealand is going to pot.
This week’s speaker Julie Curphy, Chief Commercial Officer for Helius, a local company producing medicinal cannabis products, would like to think this is the case!
In a very detailed talk, Julie gave the larger than usual gathering of Rotarians and friends all you might ever need to know about the situation in New Zealand of this health product, its cultivation, manufacturing process, marketing and distribution and effectiveness as a medicine.
All this was placed in a world-wide context showing that NZ is in the second tier of countries regarding ease of access. Unlike Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and some western states in USA we do not make medicinal cannabis available without a prescription BUT any Kiwi can gain access through their G.P. if deemed a suitable recipient. However it costs!.  
The ‘all made in New Zealand’ product will cost about $150 per month compared with the same product from Canada at $400. They can be in the form of oils, tinctures, oral solutions, sprays etc. but not as capsules, suppositories, edibles (gummies) or skin patches.
Promotors of medicinal cannabis lay claim to its efficacy especially in treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chemo-induced nausea and vomiting and there is strong evidence to show its positive effects on chronic pain, inflammation, addiction, anxiety, arthritis, autism, sleep disorders and ADHD. At the age of the listeners, doesn’t leave much does it?
Julie made it very clear that her company was at the cutting edge of good manufacturing practice, being the first NZ company to receive certification to this effect. Factory conditions are meticulously clean as an essential means of keeping the 800 or so grown hydroponically plants in cultivation disease free.
In all, a fascinating glimpse into a possible future use of a natural product alleviating unnatural conditions in the human body.  
Thank you Julie.
Polio Action

Following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the GPEI paid tribute to Her leadership, steadfastness and commitment to service and recognized His Royal Highness King Charles III’s support for polio eradication. 
For the last two decades, the prospect of sending 16 visiting polio experts out across the provinces of Afghanistan would have been impossible but from 6 to 19 June 2022, WHO Afghanistan’s polio eradication programme did just that. Their mission? To review the country’s polio surveillance system, assess its functionality at all levels and make specific recommendations for maintaining and improving surveillance quality.For the last two decades, the prospect of sending 16 visiting polio experts out across the provinces of Afghanistan would have been impossible but from 6 to 19 June 2022, WHO Afghanistan’s polio eradication programme did just that.
Their mission? To review the country’s polio surveillance system, assess its functionality at all levels and make specific recommendations for maintaining and improving surveillance quality.
The review determined that Afghanistan’s surveillance system is achieving all sensitivity targets and the likelihood of undetected poliovirus transmission is low. Recommendations, including upscaling surveillance in the country’s south and south east, are currently being implemented.

“After many visits to Afghanistan, this was the first time we were able to visit every place we needed to review,” said Dr Jean-Marc Olive, Surveillance Review Team Leader. “This gave me great confidence that this extensive effort was a thorough country review which clearly identified both the achievements and the remaining challenges to ensure that no WPV will be missed.”

  • Summary of new polioviruses this week: 
-        Afghanistan: one WPV1 case [Wild poliovirus] 
-        Pakistan: two WPV1 cases and one positive environmental sample
-        Mozambique : one WPV1 case
-        Benin: two cVDPV2 cases and one positive environmental sample [Vaccine derived poliovirus]. 
-        DR Congo: one cVDPV2 case
-        Ghana: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
-        Madagascar: one cVDPV1 positive environmental sample
-        Malawi: two cVDPV1 cases
-        Nigeria : one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
See country sections below for more details.
Regionalisation Project
Fun Run Help Requested
Highbrook Rotary Fun Run is planned and ready to go. There advertisement for it is below. You might want to take part or if that sounds a bit challenging Highbrook Rotary are looking for members from our club who might assist on the day. If you can assist get in touch with  Lesley McLagan - President Highbrook Rotary.  Mobile: 021 725132
Graphs and Information. 
In an age where information, misinformation and disinformation abounds I was reminded of my past students regular issues in interpreting graphs.
It occurred to me how the use [or misuse of] the vertical axis in and the careful choice of the horizontal axis can serve to better explain or more completely obscure the real situation.
Take the graph of the Nasdaq Composite.  
The scale starts at 8000 not zero making the decline look even more spectacular [not thats its good even then].
Anyone looking at that graph might conclude that it's the 1930 stock market crash again. 
Compare that same index over a longer period and the conclusion might be a little more measured.
Compare that same index over an even longer time period and you might even be quite sanguine about the latest movment. 
Is everyone taking the local body elections seriously?
There has been plenty of commentary about the low turnout of voters for the current local body elections.
Perhaps not everyone takes them seriously? Certainly there are examples of some candidates injecting some humour. 
One candidate in an electorate not so far away included in their candidate statement the following.
"If elected I would ensure that global warming is is eradicated. I am passionate about this because in summer time I overheat in bed and struggle to sleep. Another problem I would like to solve is the structural integrity of paper straws at the movies. Every time I am there, my straw gets super soggy halfway through the film." 
Then there is the very self aware candidate from the last general election. 
Material to share?
If you have information that you think other members might find interesting then please forward that to me.
For example things that other Rotary Clubs are doing such as events they are holding or opportunities for our members to participate or contribute to other local events.
Obviously any material needs to meet the Four Way Test and cant be political advertising. 
[I am hoping the poster in the clip above does not contravene that last rule].