Aberdeen and North East Rotary clubs are joining with thousands of other branches around the world to support World Polio Day – and you can play a part.
On Wednesday, October 24, Rotarians will be on St Nicholas Street (in front of Marks and Spencer) holding a public awareness day as part of Purple4Polio.
There will be a range of information available, as well as donation buckets for those who want to support the worthwhile cause and interesting activities
Demonstrations of CPR and defibrillators will also be on display, so that people can see these lifesaving techniques for themselves.
The Purple4Polio event will run from 10am to 5pm.
Why purple? People’s pinkies are marked with purple ink to show they have received the polio immunisation.
And to mark the campaign, the Rotary clubs will be working with local children and community groups to plant 50,000 purple crocuses, as well as handing out small bags of crocus corms on World Polio Day for people to plant their own.
So if you see a spread of purple crocuses next spring in your town you will know that Rotary and friends were there!
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) over 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.99%, from about 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to just 22 cases in 2017 and with just three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The end is very much in sight and Rotary has committed to raising US$150 million between 2017-20 in support of global eradication efforts.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1 so every £1 raised becomes £3. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk, including the UK.