Rotary members getting ready to mark World Polio Day

Rotary members getting ready to mark World Polio Day

World Polio Day is one of the highlights of the Rotary calendar, and this year is no different with clubs across the length and breadth of the British Isles organising events to publicise Rotary’s campaign for the complete eradication of polio.

Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland are gearing up for World Polio Day on Wednesday, October 24th with a series of awareness-raising events.

There will even be an opportunity to take part in Rotary International’s cornerstone event on the day, which takes place at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American medicine.

As part of a World Polio Day event and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, global health experts and Rotary’s celebrity polio ambassadors will discuss the remarkable progress toward a polio-free world.

Patience Asiimwe, the protagonist of Rotary’s upcoming virtual reality film ‘Two Drops of Patience’ will introduce the movie.

A sneak peek from Rotary’s new documentary ‘Drop to Zero’ will also be featured.

Jeffrey Kluger, senior editor for Time magazine, will discuss his experience traveling to Nigeria with Rotary to report on polio eradication.

Proceedings from Philadelphia will be live-streamed from Philadelphia at 6.30pm local time (11.30 BST).

For more details, log on here.

A recording will be made available shortly after the event here.

In Great Britain and Ireland, members are preparing with a number of events, which you can explore on the map.

Jannine Birtwistle, the Rotary GBI Polio Champion, believes that World Polio Day sends out a powerful message about Rotary’s commitment to work with others and complete the job of totally eradicating the disease.

She said: “World Polio Day – one day, one focus. With your help, we can end polio for good.”

Rotary members, polio survivors, supporters and volunteers are invited to Stoke Mandeville Stadium on World Polio Day.

If you would like to join in the fun, the day commences at 2:30pm.

The afternoon will include planting 25,000 crocus corms and enjoying tea and purple cakes.

Please email Debbie Hodge and Jannine Birtwistle to let them know how many will be there from your community.

Polio key facts:

  • Polio Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralysing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.
  • In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus programme, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion (£1.29 billion) and countless volunteer hours to immunise more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion (£5.47 billion) to the effort.
  • The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness-building.
  • Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Just 22 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2017, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.


For more information about events taking place on and around World Polio Day, visit endpolio.org 

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