Bathed in polio purple with a spectacular skyline is Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland.
Situated by the River Erne in County Fermanagh, the castle was built almost 600 years ago by the ruling Gaelic Maguires.
Today, it now houses the Fermanagh County Museum and is home to the regimental museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.
The castle was floodlight in purple to mark a collection by Rotary members from the Enniskillen club to raise funds for the End Polio Now campaign.
Thanks to the generosity of the general public, they managed to raise £1,028 for The Rotary Foundation campaign.
A lot of people were quite surprised that polio still exists when we did the collection.”
It costs 20p to vaccinate one child against polio, so the money raised, on top of the support given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which will treble the sum, means that 15,420 children will be able to receive the vaccination.
“A lot of people were quite surprised that polio still exists when we did the collection,” explained Rotarian, John Trimble.
“But, unfortunately, it does, and as long as there is one child left in the world with polio there is the potential for it to spread from person to person, typically through contaminated water to attack the nervous system.”
Due to the efforts of Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the US Centre for Disease Control and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $1.6 billion has been spent to immunise 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
This work started in 1985, and since then polio cases have dropped by 99.9%, from 350,000 in 1988 to only 15 in May 2019, down from 33 in the previous year.
There are now only two endemic countries; Afghanistan and Pakistan.
However, if all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyse as many as 20,000 children every year.
John added: “It is vital that the efforts to End Polio Now continue until it is eradicated forever.
“That is why we in the Rotary Club of Enniskillen will continue to support this very necessary cause and raise funds annually hopefully with the continued support of the people of Enniskillen and surrounding districts.”