Turning Roadsides Purple in Support of World Polio Day

by Jared Smith
Published: Last Updated on

In August 2020, the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified free from the wild form of Polio virus — a major milestone in the global battle to eradicate the disease worldwide. This progress is the result of a decades-long effort supported as a primary target by Rotary, across the African region, and now means that five of the six WHO regions (which represent 90% of the world’s population) will be free of wild form polio.

In August 2020, the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified free from the wild form of Polio virus — a major milestone in the global battle to eradicate the disease worldwide.

Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio, both in fundraising and volunteers spending years on the ground. Rotarians worldwide have contributed nearly £685 million to conquer polio in the African region, have advocated with world governments, national and local leaders, and raised global awareness and action in societies at all levels, with a particular focus on local training and facilities.

Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio[.]

Every year, Rotarians across the globe mobilise for World Polio Day, on 24th October, to continue to raise awareness about polio. If we stay committed, polio will be the second human disease after smallpox to be eradicated.

Here is an example of the recent work supported in Angola immediately after a COVID-19 break of 3 months:

Between 10 and 13 July 2020 in Angola, 1,287,717 children under five years of age were reached by over 4,000 local trained vaccinators observing COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures. All health workers were trained on infection risk, and 90,000 masks and 23,000 hand sanitizers were distributed with support from the Angolan Ministry of Health.”

Since the beginning of the Rotarian support for Polio eradication, the colour purple has been used to signify the work. In Malton and Norton tens of thousands of purple crocuses have been planted on the roadside verge approaches to the towns by our local volunteers every autumn to flower in the spring. If you want to join our continuing local and global volunteering effort, please email mandnrotarysec@gmail.com.

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