Monday, February 26, 2007

Russian President Putin Honors Russian And World Musician Rostropovich For Human Creativity, Development Of World Music, And Service To His Nation

"Acclaimed cellist and conductor MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH has picked up one of Russia's top honours from President VLADIMIR PUTIN. The leader signed a decree earlier today (26FEB07) awarding Rostropovich with the Order of Service to the Fatherland, First Degree, for his "outstanding contribution to the development of world music and many years of creative activity". Putin has made no secret of his admiration for the 79-year-old musician - the concerned statesman visited him in hospital in Moscow earlier this month (06FEB07) after he was admitted with an undisclosed illness. Rostropovich went into exile from the Soviet Union in 1974 after housing dissident writer ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN for four years. He later became music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington - a position he held until 1994."

Source: (c) Ltd.


The Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation for the Health and Future of Children

The Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation (VRF) is a publicly-supported non-profit 501(c)(3)organization based in Washington , D.C. The VRF also maintains offices in St. Petersburg , Russia , Baku , Azerbaijan , Tbilisi , Georgia and Yerevan , Armenia .

The VRF was founded in 1991 by Maestro Rostropovich , the world-renowned Russian cellist, and his wife, the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya , to improve the deplorable state of children's health care in Russia and other Newly Independent States formerly part of the Soviet Union .

The VRF conducts sustainable public health programs for children that focus on vaccine-preventable diseases and HIV/AIDS. These programs typically include children, adolescents, and at risk health care workers. In 2006 the VRF completed a nationwide vaccination initiative against hepatitis B in the Russian Federation . Over 2 million adolescents and at risk health care workers were vaccinated during the 5-year course of the initiative. Now the Russian Ministry of Health is continuing this important work with its own resources. In the Transcaucasus countries of Georgia , Azerbaijan , and Armenia , the VRF is supporting national immunization programs against measles, mumps and rubella as part of the strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate measles and prevent congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) throughout the European region. In March 2006 the VRF, in cooperation with WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan , completed a mass immunization campaign against measles and rubella (MR) in Azerbaijan . Over the course of four weeks, nearly 3 million children and young adults were vaccinated against MR, effectively eradicating measles and preventing congenital rubella syndrome in the country. Similar mass immunization campaigns are planned for Armenia in the fall of 2007 and Georgia in the spring of 2008.

In April 2006, Maestro Rostropovich was named Special Representative of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Over the next three years, the VRF, which is already supporting HIV/AIDS programs in Georgia and Russia , plans to use a substantial proportion of its resources on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support among children and youth, including the reintegration of institutionalized HIV positive children and youth into society.

Recently completed projects of the VRF include:

Telemedicine Network
Children's Hospital
Pilot Vaccination Program
Water Purification
Medical Equipment

Music and the World: Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife Galina Vishnevskaya with recently vaccinated children at an orphanage in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation, Future European Union.

Photo credit: (c) VRF (Vishnevskaya Rostropovich Foundation, Washington, D.C.). With thanks.


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