Nigerian top female singer Tiwa Savage is the newest face on Rotary’s public awareness campaign for polio eradication.
-Savage, described by CNN as Nigeria’s biggest pop star, will help Rotary achieve its goal of a polio-free world by raising awareness about the vaccine-preventable disease.
-Last April, in Lagos, the pop star administered polio vaccine to children during the National Immunization Days.
-Nigeria regularly conducts mass immunization campaigns to vaccinate every child under the age of five in the country. The singer’s participation in this programme comes at a critical juncture.
Last year, Nigeria experienced a polio outbreak that paralysed four children after passing nearly two years without a case of the disease. Her involvement in the campaign will raise important awareness that will help ensure the outbreak is stopped.
“This is a cause that hits close to home for me, not only as a mother of a small child, but as a proud Nigerian, whose country has been battling this disease for many years,” said Savage, whose musical career began at 16 as a backup singer for George Michael.
The Nigerian music star joins other public figures and celebrities participating in Rotary’s public awareness campaign, including Bill Gates, co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actress Kristen Bell; Supermodel Isabeli Fontana and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Others are Jackie Chan; Manny Pacquiao; Psy, Jack Nicklaus and Jane Goodall among others. Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985 and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more recently the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.