KAOEF Trustee Fights Polio in India
Robert “Bob” Hagan (Delta Rho–Valdosta State ’74) recently returned from India, where, as a member and a past district governor of Rotary International, he was participating in a project to immunize the children of India against polio. He said that the project to not only wipe out polio but to prevent its re-emergence has been the organization’s number one initiative for the past three decades.
“Polio has been eradicated in India since 2015,” he said. “No cases since then. India has held a ‘National Immunization Day’ annually for four years, and this was my fourth NID trip.”
As seen in the accompanying photos, Hagan helped administer the vaccine to children in droplet form. “Most countries outside of the U.S. give polio drops, two of them at a time,” said Hagan, who is Rotary International’s “End Polio” coordinator. “This way is easier to transport and administer. Patients cooperate better when administering drops than a shot. Drops have been available for several years.”
“Rotary International is helping the children of the world … We may not save a life, but we are changing a life.”
“Rotary International is helping the children of the world,” he said of the initiative and of volunteers such as himself. “We may not save a life, but we are changing a life. We now only have three countries that have the polio virus. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and, we are hopeful, Nigeria, will be polio-free in August 2019. Much money is needed to eradicate polio. Rotary International has pledged $50,000,000 over the next three years, which will be matched 2-1 by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation.”
Hagan currently serves as a trustee of the KA educational foundation. He is the president of Sterling Healthcare in Roswell, Georgia, a healthcare advisory group focused on long-term, managed and senior care. A graduate of Valdosta State, where he earned a B.S. in criminology and completed post-graduate studies in guidance and counseling, Hagan served as Delta Rho’s Number III, IV and V, and was vice-president of the IFC for two years. He is a past Hardeman Province Commander (1982-1986), and is active in the Atlanta and Roswell/North River Alumni Associations. In 2012, Hagan was inducted into the Hardeman Court of Honor.