Singer Beyoncé Knowles immunizes Ethiopian children against polio

Photo courtesy of the Ethiopian News Agency


Rotarians taking part in a polio immunization campaign in Ethiopia recently enjoyed a boost of

star power for the eradication effort. Singer Beyoncé Knowles, scheduled to perform in Addis

Ababa, met the group and helped administer the oral polio vaccine before taking the stage on 20



The 26-year-old, who immunized 10 youth said, "I want to encourage all . parents to give this

vaccination to their children. It really benefits their health."


"Beyoncé was so impressed [with] our commitment to not only provide funding but to make the trip

to administer the vaccine," said Ezra Teshome, of the Rotary Club of University District of Seattle,

Washington , USA , who led the effort. Teshome immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia in

1971 and has headed up seven other immunization drives in his homeland.


The fight to end polio has made significant progress in Ethiopia , which has not reported a single

case of the disease this year. The country recorded 22 cases in 2005 and 17 in 2006 after an

outbreak in the Horn of Africa.


In addition to raising and contributing funds, over one million Rotarians have volunteered their time

and personal resources to help vaccinate more than two billion children in 122 countries during

national immunization campaigns.