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For over 35 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world.
The Purple4Polio activities suggested by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland are to raise funds and awareness for End Polio Now, Rotary’s global campaign to eradicate polio across the world.
When a child receives their life-saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine.
Rotary’s pledge for a polio free world was made in 1985 when there were 125 polio endemic countries and hundreds of new cases every single day. In the past few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus but no child anywhere is safe until every child has been fully vaccinated.
Thanks to Rotary, and the support of our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, there are now just two countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To finish the job over 2 billion doses of oral polio vaccine still have to be administered, to more than 400 million children in over 50 countries, each and every year. We have to have zero cases of polio and zero positive environmental samples before the world can finally be certified polio free.