Rotary honors Côte d'Ivoire president for polio eradication leadership
On 24 July, Rotary International recognized Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo with its Polio Eradication Champion Award in honor of his commitment to eradicating polio worldwide.
Under Gbagbo's leadership, the West African country has been free from polio since 2005. Despite civil war in Côte d'Ivoire, Gbagbo facilitated mass polio immunization campaigns, giving the occasions the highest level of political support. In addition, he made a personal contribution of US$36,000 to the cause.
Past RI President Luis Giay presented the award in Abidjan, the country's capital.
"On behalf of Rotary’s 1.2 million members worldwide, I am honored to present this award to President Laurent Gbagbo," said Giay. "His personal commitment to polio eradication is an inspiration to those who are fighting the last of this disease."
Other leaders who have been honored with the award include Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Learn more about Rotary's PolioPlus Program.