On 24th OCTOBER 2020 the Rotary Worldwide is celebrating World Polio Day.
Why are we celebrating?
Ryan Hyland writes:
African region declared free of wild poliovirus
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.”
“Rotary and its GPEI partners celebrate a monumental achievement, say global eradication of wild polio is possible with the continued dedication and persistence of Rotarians.”
Click here to read his full article
Bill Gates and The Rotary
On endpolio.org the Rotary describe how Bill Gates has worked with them to raise funds by matching contributions by 2-1.
Here’s what they say:
“Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. In 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined Rotary in its commitment to ending polio.
Since 2013, the Gates Foundation has matched every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication 2-to-1, up to $35 million per year. Rotary, with matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has contributed more than $1.6 billion to end polio.
Since we started the fight against polio, we’ve reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent and reached more than 2.5 billion children with the vaccine. There are fewer polio cases today than ever before, but we will not stop until we reach zero. If polio is not eradicated, hundreds of thousands of children could be paralyzed. Global health care costs would rise dramatically, and many children’s quality of life would be drastically diminished.”
Why is this so pertinent in today’s world?
The work the Rotary has done working with The World Health Organisation to eradicate Polio in the most vulnerable and inaccessible places in the world since 1988 gives us hope in todays world that, once we have a vaccine for Covid 19 that we can use lessons learnt, infrastructure in place and networks in order to administer the vaccine worldwide too.
Why PURPLE for Polio?
“The reason Rotary choose purple is because when a child receives their life saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days in many countries their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their life-saving vaccine.”
Look out for events near you.
In the area in Fife, Scotland around Burntisland, Kinghorn, Aberdour and Achtertool the Burntisland and Kinghorn Rotary Club have organised a ‘raising awareness’ campaign by a photo competition on Facebook and another exciting event which I’ll post here after the weekend.
Why don’t you get snapping and enter before 5th November!