Thursday, October 27, 2011

Alonso, solidarity: "Every child has the right to run, play and live a healthy life without polio"

The Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso visited a hospital in New Delhi to immunize a group of children against polio, as part of UNICEF's awareness campaign against this disease.

Alonso, who is in India to contest the Grand Prix Formula 1 World Championship this weekend, arrived on board a Delhi hospital Maserati Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, and himself a dozen immunized children with OPV against polio.

"Every child has the right to run, play and live a healthy life without polio , said the Spanish rider, who is an ambassador for UNICEF. Polio is a terrible disease that we must eradicate the planet."

The pilot was received by the hospital authorities with garlands of marigolds and the traditional "tikka" powder that is applied on the forehead as a sign of welcome, and in turn laid flowers before the statue of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru Indian

During his stay in the hospital, Alonso gave gifts to the children present , some of them affected by the paralysis of the limbs that causes the disease, taking advantage of India held last night that the "Indian Christmas", the "Diwali" or party the lights.

"Whenever I visit a site with UNICEF is often quite shocking . Today also has. A hospital in India with children is always difficult to see, but know that it does an important job, "said the pilot.

India has made significant progress in the fight against polio: for the first time in its history, has not been a single case of this disease in nine consecutive months, against 42 cases in 2001 and the 741 suffered in 2009.

" We are closer to our goal but we are not complacent. We will intensify our efforts to stop the flow of residual virus polio, "he said Monday Indian Minister of Health, Ghulam Nabi Azad, on World Day against the disease.

Polio is still endemic in four countries: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. It is an infectious disease that affects children under five years and cause nervous system damage and irreversible paralysis.


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