Rotary Club of Belfast

World Polio Day 2021

W P Day 2124 October is World Polio Day when Rotary clubs across the world highlight the fight to end polio - the vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today and if not eradicated it is estimated, as many as 200,000 children annually all over the world could succumb to polio within 10 years.

The Rotary Club of Belfast has been supporting Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign and remains committed to working to eliminate this potentially deadly virus and make Rotary's dream of a polio free world a reality. Over the next weeks the Club will be planting 400 purple crocus corms - the colour purple has become a symbolic colour in the fight against polio, inspired by the colour of the dye painted on the little finger of a child to signify they have received a potentially life-saving polio vaccine.

For more than 30 years, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Rotary’s PolioPlus programme was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. Currently Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation every £1 we raise is matched 2-to-1 and is worth £3. Worldwide Rotary members have contributed more than $2.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralysing disease reducing cases by 99.9% and the number of endemic countries from 122 to 2 -Afghanistan and Pakistan but despite this momentous progress, more challenging work lies ahead to eradicate the disease for good.

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