Scottish Parliament celebrates World Polio Day

Scottish Parliament celebrates World Polio Day

Members of the Scottish Parliament recognised World Polio Day showing their support for Rotary’s efforts to eradicate the disease across the world.

They attended a photo call immediately after First Minister’s Questions on the Garden Lobby stairs in the Parliament, donning their Rotary purple crocus buttonholes.

The event was organised by Rotary International in Scotland and the MSPs joined millions across the globe who highlighed World Polio Day to raise awareness and support to end polio – a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those showing their support, and said: “I am very pleased to support World Polio Day by wearing a purple crocus and I am delighted that politicians across the spectrum in Scotland are doing the same.”

“Eradicating polio will be a major step forward in creating a better world for all children in every country. Rotary in Scotland is to be commended for its lead role in this campaign.”

We have never been closer to making history and fulfilling Rotary’s goal of a polio-free world with just 12 cases of wild poliovirus worldwide so far this year in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rotary in Scotland is to be commended for its role in this campaign.”

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland plays a very active role in the fight to eradicate polio, by creating the Purple4Polio campaign.

The colour purple is used to symbolise the campaign because, when children in the developing world (where the risk is greatest) are vaccinated, their “pinkies” are dyed purple so that no child is missed.

Alexander Burnett MSP, who sponsored the event, said: “I am well aware of the contribution that my own local Rotary Club in Huntly is making to Purple4Polio, through the production of purple ice cream. I take pride in sponsoring this event in the Scottish Parliament. I wish Rotary well in this very important initiative.”

The purple crocus button hole has also become a symbol of the campaign.

Rotary is proud to have initiated this campaign over 30 years ago and to be playing a lead role in seeing it through to completion. We expect the world finally to be declared polio free in 2020.

Dr Janet Lowe, an End Polio Now Co-ordinator, said: “Rotary in Scotland is delighted that so many of our MSPs have shown their support by wearing crocus buttonholes. Many MSPs support the work of their local Rotary Clubs and recognise the value of Rotary’s humanitarian service, locally and internationally.”