Rotarians descended on London’s Lord Mayor’s Show to proudly display the effort’s Rotary GB&I has made towards eradicating polio with the Purple4Polio campaign.
The Lord Mayor’s show is one of London’s most well-known events to take place every year and this year it was shown live on BBC1
Rotary representatives entered the annual parade a vintage Steam Traction Engine pulling a trailer with a 1910 “Limonaire” circus organ playing music on board.
The Rotarians were wearing bright purple – the colour used to mark the little fingers of children who have been immunised against polio.
Rotary are currently on the brink of eradicating only the second human disease ever after smallpox with just 30 cases of wild poliovirus being found worldwide this past year.
This is in comparison to a thousand cases of polio a day in 125 countries when Rotary started the campaign to eradicate polio in 1985.
Rotarians around the world have raised more than 2.6 billion US dollars to fight polio so far and given countless hours of volunteering to help immunise nearly 3 billion children globally against the virus.
Since 1988, Rotary has been at the forefront of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative alongside organisations such as the World Health Organisation, Unicef, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.
More recently, Rotary has been working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who are matching ever pound (or dollar) that Rotary raises to eradicate polio with another two.
However, the fight against polio is far from over, as shown by the recent detection of poliovirus in London, New York and Israel.
Rotary will continue to raise awareness and funds for immunisation campaigns in at-risk areas, as well as regular immunisation campaigns.