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Polio eradication story uploaded

The Rotary Clubs of Jersey had a launch night of their polio eradication campaign last week at Government House in Jersey. This is the first step for the Rotary Clubs in Jersey to start raising money and awareness for the international effort to eradicate polio. The pictures we took on our recent visit to India are hopefully going to be used around the world to promote this endevour. Bill Gates recently donated over $255 million dollars to the campaign with the challenge for Rotary to raise $200 million by 2012 so the outlook is positive.

I’ve uploaded some pictures onto my website some please feel free to have a look there. I’m also working on a multimedia presentation so when that is finished I’ll let you know..

The link to the polio picture story is Polio Eradication

Rich….

 

Dog of the Year 2008…

It’s that time of year when the air is filled with the sounds and smells of clipping, cutting, hairspray, tension and other unmentionables.  That goes for both the dogs and their owners who preen and prune themselves equally for their big show day of the year. Competition is intense, dog envy is abound.

This is the third year I’ve been assigned this job. Maybe because the picture desk knows I’m allergic to dogs…maybe because deep down I actually enjoy them and they can be quite good fun and picture rich…Release the hounds….!!

 

Justin a Lhasa Apso (3) takes his view on the World. (JEP)

Justin a Lhasa Apso (3) takes his view on the World. (JEP)

 

Delphi the English Spaniel getting its toe hair cut.

Delphi the English Spaniel getting her toe hair cut. Detail is everything.

 

Onyx (8) a Pekingese is fluffed up by Pat Dale. (JEP)

Onyx (8) a Pekingese is fluffed up by Pat Dale. (JEP)

Final preparations for the Toy Poodle. (JEP)

Final preparations for the Toy Poodle. (JEP)

Oliver an English Spaniel having his tail hair cut straight by Lynn Ozane. (JEP)

Oliver an English Spaniel having his tail hair cut perfectly straight by Lynn Ozane. (JEP)

 

Onyx (8) a Pekingese rests inbetween showing.

Onyx (8) a Pekingese rests inbetween showing.

Monkey the Whippet stands on the shoulders of Rachel le Masurier to check out the competition. (JEP)

Monkey the Whippet stands on the shoulders of Rachel le Masurier to check out the competition. (JEP)

Bulldog Shiloh in wings before performing. (JEP)

Shiloh the Bulldog psyches himself up in wings before performing. (JEP)

A wire haired Dachshund is judged by Mrs Cartledge with owner Lisa Goodall. (JEP)

A wire haired Dachshund is judged by Mrs Cartledge with owner Lisa Goodall. (JEP)

 

Marie-Claire Hannigan showing an Afghan Hound.

Marie-Claire Hannigan showing an Afghan Hound.

First Week back…

My first week back at the Jersey Evening Post and straight into a World Class boxing match. As with working on most regional newspapers, the variety of jobs your assigned in any one day always makes it challenging. One minute your doing sport, then a feature picture story then everything else from business portraits to news. I’m still ploughing through editing my work from Mongolia and India so this post will be short on words. The hope is to expand  on how and why I took a particular picture but when short of time I’ll just let the pictures do the talking themselves..which is the general idea of a press photography anyway..!!

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey.  IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield v Elvir Muriqi (Red Shorts) from Kosovo. (JEP)

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey. IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield was fighting to regain the right to fight for another title. His opponent Elvir Muriqi from Kosovo put up an impressive 12 round contest. (JEP)

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey.  IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield v Elvir Muriqi (Red Shorts) from Kosovo. (JEP)

Woods and Muriqi slug it out in the fifth round. (JEP)

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey.  IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield v Elvir Muriqi (Red Shorts) from Kosovo. (JEP)

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey. IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield v Elvir Muriqi (Red Shorts) from Kosovo. (JEP)

Boxing at the Hotel de France, Jersey.  IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. Clinton Woods (Blue shorts) from Sheffield v Elvir Muriqi (Red Shorts) from Kosovo. (JEP)

After 12 rounds Clinton Woods celebrates winning on points whilst a dejected Elvir Muriqi looks on. (JEP)

Peter Lucas Investment Strategist with RBC Wealth Management. (JEP)

Peter Lucas Investment Strategist with RBC Wealth Management. (JEP)

Penny Henderson a chiropractor from Active Chiropractic Clinic who won a Patient Partnership Quality Award. (JEP)

Penny Henderson a chiropractor from Active Chiropractic Clinic who won a Patient Partnership Quality Award. (JEP)

Chris Searson MD of Capita Fiduciary Group. (JEP)

Chris Searson MD of Capita Fiduciary Group. (JEP)

 

 

Aimee Ollivier (21) now a qualified staff nurse but finding it difficult to get a job at the hospital. (JEP)

Aimee Ollivier (21) now a qualified staff nurse but finding it difficult to get a job at the hospital. (JEP)

India Assignment 4

The final day shooting today and back at the limb centre. Despite the fact hundreds of people turn up everyday, each with their own tragic stories having suffered from polio or traumatic limb amputations, the centre has an incredibly positive atmosphere. For many it is the end of a long journey from all parts of India having heard about the service the centre provides. For all it will mean a life changing moment. Many patients haven’t been able to walk properly for years as they enter through the gates in the morning then stroll out at the end of the day on new limbs.

 

The reception area where patients are fitted with new limbs. The translation of the centre's name means 'Society in name of Bhagwan Mahaveer to help Disabled in Society.'

The reception area where patients are fitted with new limbs. The translation of the centre's name means 'Society in name of Bhagwan Mahaveer to help Disabled in Society.'

 

Patients wait in line to be assessed by D. R Mahta the founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre

Patients wait in line to be assessed by D. R Mahta the founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre

 

Rajneesh Pandy (24) is from Nalanda in Bihar state northern India, one of the most polio affected regions. He caught polio when he was one and has remained unemployed despite going through school. Following his 27 hour train journey he hopes to return with a tricycle which will enable him to set up a mobile shop selling ciggarettes, biscuits and sweets.

Rajneesh Pandy (24) is from Nalanda in Bihar state northern India, one of the most polio affected regions. He caught polio when he was one and has remained unemployed despite going through school. Following his 27 hour train journey he hopes to return with a tricycle which will enable him to set up a mobile shop selling cigarettes, biscuits and sweets.

 

Polio patients and amputees leave the assessment centre to go for their limb fittings.

Polio patients and amputees leave the assessment centre to go for their limb fittings.

 

A prosthetic foot being being checked for accuracy before being finally shaped and fitted.

A prosthetic foot being being checked for accuracy before being finally shaped and fitted.

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Technicians fit a new limb to a double amputee patient.

 

Many polio victims end up on the streets. Unable to find employment they sometimes resort to begging. Anpurna (35) caught polio soon after birth and her parents died when she was two. She and her husband came to Jaipur as they were told a tourist was better for begging.

Many polio victims end up on the streets. Unable to find employment they sometimes resort to begging. Anpurna (35) caught polio soon after birth and her parents died when she was two. She and her husband came to Jaipur as they were told a tourist centre was better for begging.

India Assignment 3

The aim of the second part of the polio eradication story is to show what effect polio has on people and what will happen if the eradication program fails.

There over 350,0000 polio survivors in India, many with crippling limb deformities. The Jaipur Limb Centre is seen as a centre of hope for their future. An incredibly uplifting place, hundreds of people with all manner of limb trauma, polio and other debilitating injuries arrive every morning. They are all seen personally by the founder D.R Mehta, a tall, energetic 70 year old ex civil servant who saw an inadequacy in this area of health care for the poor following a life threatening car crash. Since founding the centre in 1975, over 1 million people have had their lives transformed by making them mobile, regaining self respect and their human dignity.

Within hours of reaching the centre, they are sized, fitted and taught how to walk again on their new artificial limbs. Polio survivors are given tricycles which can be seen all over India being used as tea shops or telephone booths making them financially independent, sometimes for the first time in their lives. 

The pics below are black and white as I feel that fits the situation but will look at that again after another edit. The last working day tomorrow then back home to prepare for the Jersey Rotary launch evening at Government House on March 3rd. I’ll try and post again but please feel free to check back for further updates and the full stories from both India and Mongolia in the next few weeks..

 

Founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre D.R Mahta talking to Pinod (36), a polio survivor. Since setting up the centre in 1975, over 1 million polio and limb trauma patients have been treated, usually from the poorest sections of Indian society.

Founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre D.R Mehta talking to Pinod (36), a polio survivor. Since setting up the centre in 1975, over 1 million polio and limb trauma patients have been treated, usually from the poorest sections of Indian society.

 

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

A double amputee in the overnight dormitary awaiting treatment the next mrning. Every day hundreds of patients from all over India turn up for treatment and not everyone can be seen that day.

A double amputee in the overnight dormitory awaiting treatment the next morning. Every day hundreds of patients from all over India turn up for treatment and not everyone can be seen that day.

 

Gajanand (35) caught polio as a child and suffered severe leg paralysis. He lives in Mumbai and travelled over 1,100km to Jaipur to receive a Tricycle to help him work. When he arrived with his wife and 2 children they had just 20 rupees left (about 30 pence).

Gajanand (35) caught polio as a child and suffered severe leg paralysis. He lives in Mumbai and travelled over 1,100km to Jaipur to receive a Tricycle to help him work. When he arrived with his wife and 2 children they had just 20 rupees left (about 30 pence).

 

Gajanand gives his daughter Pooja (5) some water whilst they wait to be seen by technical staff.

Gajanand gives his daughter Pooja (5) some water whilst they wait to be seen by technical staff.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand  hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor background in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

 

Gajanand waits outside the office dealing with the tricycles all day.

Gajanand waits outside the office dealing with the tricycles all day.

 

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

 

 

Gajanand tests out his new tricycle with the aid of his youngest daughter Sunu (2) pushing behind. The family will be given clothes, a small business start up kit and a train ticket back to their home in Mumbai to hopefully have a fresh start in life.

Gajanand tests out his new tricycle with the aid of his youngest daughter Sunu (2) pushing behind. The family will be given clothes, a small business start up kit and a train ticket back to their home in Mumbai to hopefully have a fresh start in life.

India Assignment 2

I’ve just arrived in Jaipur, Rajestan and it’s the first time I’ve had access to the internet so apologies for the delay in posting. The last week has been an incredible experience of Indian Rotary hospitality, long days and witnessing one the biggest medical logistical challenges happening in the world today. The full story and set of pictures will be posted when I’ve had time to edit upon my return to Jersey next week but below are some images from the last few days.

As explained in the previous post the aim of this trip is to report on the final push to eradicate Polio from the world and the work Rotary International is doing to make that possible. India is the most affected country and the story starts in Saharanpur, a city of over a million in the state of Uttar Pradesh, one of the poorest and most Polio affected regions. India held a National Immunisation Day on Sunday the 1st Feb and in Saharanpur alone, over 51,000 children under 5 were immunised that day. There were over 2,000 booths around the city manned by Rotary volunteers, Indian Government workers, WHO & UNICEF staff. The following 5 days involved ‘mop up’ operations where vaccinators visited every household in the district making sure each child received their 2 drops of polio vaccine. By the end of the week more than 110,000 children in Saharanpur will have received their drops. A massive logistical undertaking and amazing to believe that this takes place in every city, town and village throughout India with over 175 million children nationwide being vaccinated.

From here we will be visiting the Jaipur Limb Centre where people who have suffered paralysis from Polio come to seek assistance with surgical operations, calipers and tricycle bikes to help them continue live their lives. i’ll keep you posted…

 

The day before the National Immunisation Day (NID) posters, banners and street rallies are held around the city of Saharanpur to announce the polio vaccination day.

The day before the National Immunisation Day (NID) posters, banners and street rallies are held around the city of Saharanpur to announce the polio vaccination day.

 

Children line up at a school to receive their polio drops. Over 110,000 children under 5 will be vaccinated in Saharanpur alone over the next week. Over 175 million will be vaccinated nationwide.

Children line up at a school to receive their polio drops. Over 110,000 children under 5 will be vaccinated in Saharanpur alone over the next week. Over 175 million will be vaccinated nationwide.

 

A young girl receives her polio drops. Each child is given 2 drops.

A young girl receives her polio drops. Each child is given 2 drops.

 

The left little finger is painted with a purple dye indicating they have been vaccinated.

The left little finger is painted with a purple dye indicating they have been vaccinated.

On the NID over 2,000 booths are set up around the city. There are also hundreds of vaccinators on railway staion platforms and bus stations to catch any children travelling that day.

On the NID over 2,000 booths are set up around the city. There are also hundreds of vaccinators on railway station platforms and bus stations to catch any children traveling that day.

 

Vaccinators during the Mop up days visit every house with children to ensure 100% coverage is attained.

Vaccinators during the mop up days visit every house with children to ensure 100% coverage is attained.

Every household with a child is marked during the Mop Up days showing either all children have been vaccinated or there is still some missing. Here this complex houses multiple families, with a P indicating all have been done and a X showing some children still need to be seen.

Every household with a child is marked during the mop up days showing either all children have been vaccinated or there is still some missing. Here this housing complex has multiple families, with a P indicating all have been vaccinated and an X showing some children still need to be seen.

 

A girl from the muslim community looks out from her house to talk to a Mop Up team. Some members of this community have put up resistance to the polio eradication scheme believing the drops make children infertile.

A girl from the Muslim community looks out from her house to talk to a mop up team. Some members of this community have put up resistance to the polio eradication scheme believing the drops make children infertile.

India bound…

I arrived back on time from Mongolia, downloaded and backed up all the pictures and I’m now preparing to go to India this afternoon. It’s very unusual to have two foreign assignments almost back to back but this one was dictated by a specific date. It’s going to be quite tiring but I’m certainly ‘in the zone’ from the Mongolia trip and ready for another challenge. 

Eradicating Polio: The Last Hurdle

The story is for Rotary Jersey and their part of the international effort to eradicate Polio. India is one of just four countries now endemic with Polio (Pakistan, Afghanistan & Nigeria being the others). The Rotary polio eradication campaign, Polio Plus, started over 20 years ago and the aim now is to give the final push to free the world completely of Polio. It has been a huge logistical and financial undertaking that so far has been a massive success. If you want to learn more about the situation have a look at this website:-  http://www.rotary.org/en/serviceAndFellowship/Polio/Pages/ridefault.aspx

With just under 1,700 cases being reported worldwide in 2008 down from 350,000 in 1988, over 99% of the job has been completed but as the Rotary mission statement quotes, it is not over just yet. ” As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.”

I’ll hopefully start blogging and posting some images in the next few days. The main NID or National Immunisation Day is Sunday February 1st when over 172 million children under 5 will be vaccinated throughout India. A quite mind boggling statistic…!!

Mongolian Assignment 9

My last post from here. A big thank you to everyone who helped me with this assignment, you know who you are. Just to say Mongolia is an amazing country. It has its problems but which country doesn’t. The Government are trying to sort things out with regards to street children but it will be a long process. I understand from people living here things have dramatically improved over the last year so there is hope. If you ever have the chance to visit then do. The hospitality is great, the countryside is there to explore and there is more  history than you could ever soak up. Fond memories of all the people and I hope to return at a warmer time..therefore my last image will be from a very short trip into the countryside..

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Mongolian Assignment 8

My last day in Mongolia. I managed to catch up with the guys again today. When Ider and I arrived they were laughing. During the night older men came into the hole to seek shelter. When they left they stole a pair of their shoes so now they have only one pair between them and they found this quite amusing in a resigned sort of way. This sort of thing happens to all the children living in manholes around the city. They are never secure or safe anywhere be it from drunk older men or other street kids. Violence is never far away. I have only met a few girls living like this but the situation for them must be incredibly dangerous. We left them with an offer of assistance from  an NGO to get some help, two pairs of thermals I won’t be needing and enough money for shoes. Ider the interpreter will be keeping an eye out for them so will post any developments here.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) light each others cigarettes. They normally are given these from people when out collecting bottles.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) light each others cigarettes. They normally are given these from people when out collecting bottles.

 

Altangeret (15) looks out of the manhole. They can clearly hear life going above them such as people talking and laughing, traffic and the occasional dog sniffing around.

Altangeret (15) looks out of the manhole. They can clearly hear life going above them such as people talking and laughing, traffic and the occasional dog sniffing around.

Dust falls through the manhole as people walk over them, mostly oblivious to their existance. They are extremely sensative to any new sound or movement at the entrance as this generally means trouble and possible violence.

Dust falls through the manhole as people walk over them, mostly oblivious to their existence. They are extremely sensitive to any new sound or movement at the entrance as this generally means trouble and possible violence.

Mongolian Assignment 7

Caught up with Munkhbat & Altangeret again today. Munkhbat explained he was at the hospital yesterday which is why we missed them. Five days ago someone hit him over the head with a pool cue in a billiard hall. He started  feeling very faint so managed to get checked out at a free clinic. I wanted to meet them again to hear why they have ended up in the situation they are now in. All street children’s stories are similar, but they are also all unique. I will post the full story at a later date but for Atlangeret he explained simply, his parents divorced, his dad remarried and his step mum beat him, his dad died, step mum sold the family Gher and all the possessions, moved illegally to Korea leaving Altangeret no choice but move to Ulaan Baatar to start a new life. Age 12.

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Munkhbat (15) sits on one of the hot water pipes in the manhole. The temperature outside is -26c with a wind chill factor of-41c. In here it is warm enough to sit in a t-shirt. This however attracts a mass of flies and various other bugs. They both say this is one of the worst things about having to live in these conditions.

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Altangeret (15) left home 3 years ago after his father died and his stepmother sold everything and moved to Korea. He found this particular hole soon after arriving and decided to stay. One day he hopes to live in an apartment.

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The manhole at night is pitch black and they only use candles occasionally, usually eating in the dark. A light from Ider the interpreter lights them up but also the dust floating within the cramped chamber.

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Boredom is a big part in their lives. With only the clothes they are wearing which are completely insufficient for the climate they only venture outside when very hungary.

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Munkhbat changes the date on his watch. Apart from the clothes he is wearing this is his only possession in life.

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Altangeret and his friend play with a chain he was given as a gift over a year ago. Like Munkhbat's watch it is the only thing he owns. Their dirt ingrained hands belie their young age.

Mongolia Assignment 6

It snowed last night and with that brought a fresher whiter look to UB. Combined with a gusty breeze it was possible to see the mountains on both sides of the valley today, the first time in my 10 days here. Below are some pictures from the UB Pollution story shot yesterday and earlier this week. They call Mongolia the Land of the Blue Sky, which is probably true if you head just a few miles out of the city…

 

The coal powered electricity and water heating towers pierce through the layer of smog that hangs over Ulaan Baatar industrial zone.

The coal powered electricity and water heating towers pierce through the layer of smog that hangs over Ulaan Baatar industrial zone.

 

 

View of the coal powered stations from below. The stations supply hot water through the city via these pipes..

View of the coal powered stations from below. The stations supply hot water through the city via these pipes.

 

One of the few upsides of the pollution is the beautiful diffused light present every sun rise and sun set.

One of the few upsides of the pollution is the beautiful diffused light present every sun rise and sun set.

Mongolian Assignment 5

Spent some more time with Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) today. They are quite shy despite the front they have to put on to survive the extremely tough conditions they live in. They have been a bit reluctant to talk about their lives but after playing pool together tonight they have agreed to meet again in the morning to chat. We left the pool hall in a freezing snow storm and then they just disappeared underground out of sight and out of mind of the vast majority of the population. Just before leaving they told me they had been harassed and beaten by a local man for talking to a foreigner about their situation…then they told my interpreter they were robbed of the $10 I gave them for food by other street kids..a violent, tough, lonely existence…we have arranged to meet in a safer location in the morning.

 

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) check out a rubbish shed. By collecting used bottles and anything else sellable they are able to buy just enough food for the day.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) check out a rubbish shed. By collecting used bottles and anything else sellable they are able to buy just enough food for the day.

 

 

 

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) look for bottles or anything else sellable in a rubbish shed. This earns them just enough to buy food each day if they are lucky. Often other people take the best items leaving them without any income.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) look for bottles in a rubbish shed. This earns them just enough to buy food each day if they are lucky. Often other people take the best items leaving them without any income.

 

Altangeret (15) continues his search for empty bottles to sell to get by each day.

Altangeret (15) continues his search for empty bottles to sell to get by each day.

 

 

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) get some sleep in. Despite the freezing temperatures outside the manholes can become unbearably hot inside. The favoured position is just above the entrance allowing cool air to drift in.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) get some sleep in. Despite the freezing temperatures outside, the manholes can become unbearably hot inside. The favoured position is just above the entrance allowing cool air to drift in.

 

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15)  run from rubbish dump to bin searching in the local area for sellable items spending as little time in the freezing conditions as possible.

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) run from rubbish dump to bin in search of sellable items in the local area spending as little time outside in the freezing conditions as possible.

 

Altangeret (15) cues up as Munkhbat (15) watches as they play pool. One of the few escapes from their reality of living on the streets. costing a $ an hour not only do they have fun but keep warm.

Altangeret (15) cues up and Munkhbat (15) watches as they play pool. One of the few escapes from their reality of living on the streets. Costing a $1 an hour not only do they have fun but keep warm.

 

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) run back to their manhole through a freezing snow storm after another day on the streets,

Munkhbat (15) & Altangeret (15) run back to their manhole through a freezing snow storm after another day on the streets.

 

Another day over, Altangeret (15) & Munkhbat (15) lower themselves into their manhole during a snowstorm.

Another day over, Altangeret (15) & Munkhbat (15) lower themselves into their manhole during a snowstorm.