Since pioneering the campaign to End Polio Now over 30 years ago, Rotary has connected volunteers and organisations from around the globe to get behind the cause and the same was true on this year’s World Polio Day across social media.
30 years of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Rotary International hosted their 6th annual World Polio Day live event, streamed around the world on social media from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American medicine.
This year’s event marked the 30th anniversary of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the international partnership between Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Thousands tuned in live, but you can catch up on the discussion below.
Light it up
One of the best ways to make a splash on World Polio Day is by showing your message loud and proud. Check out some of the best End Polio illuminations from around the world.
Rotary in Missouri, USA
Rotary in Devon and Cornwall
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Rotary in Bangor light up the Menai Strait
The Pontio building turned purple tonight, as part of Bangor Rotary Club’s initiative event to “Light up the Menai Strait Purple” publicising the ‘End Polio Now’ international disease eradication campaign. 💜#MyBangor #FyMangor #DigitalAmbassadors #BangorUni #PrifysgolBangor pic.twitter.com/36pPdKgv65
— Rebekah Bullen (@RebekahBullen) October 24, 2018
Rotary in Melbourne, Australia
This year Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland planted over 2.5 million purple crocus corms, which will flower next spring.
The purple crocus has become a recognised symbol of polio as it represents the purple dye painted onto a child’s finger once they have been vaccinated.
The planting is in full swing!
But why do we plant crocuses? The purple flower has grown to represent the purple dye painted onto a child’s finger to show they have been protected for life with a polio vaccine. #EndPolio #WorldPolioday #Purple4Polio pic.twitter.com/tj09eTmegZ
— Rotary GB & Ireland (@RotaryGBI) October 24, 2018
. @RotaryGBI it was a pleasure to support #WorldPolioDay2018 with you today. #thankyou to our #local #rotarians who came to support the planting of 25,000 crocus corms. The stadium will look beautiful in Spring next year! #EndPolioNow #Purple4Polio #buckinghamshire #community pic.twitter.com/3jD5EYAlrm
— WheelPower (@wheelpower) October 24, 2018
Fab day with my Bilston & Wolverhampton @RotaryGBI Club marking #WorldPolioDay by Crocus planting with children from a local school in Ettingshall. We spoke to the children about the campaign and how Rotary work to #EndPolio worldwide. pic.twitter.com/oBqEj9Xqmy
— Councillor Beverley Momenabadi (@beverley_momen) October 24, 2018
In 2017, the #Rotary Club of #Norwich in conjunction with the Eaton Rise Residents Association planted 5,000 "Ruby Giant" crocus bulbs to mark the #purpleforpolio campaign – read more at https://t.co/VXwJSrJp9t pic.twitter.com/SNz5vxXBnV
— Rotary Norwich (@RotaryNorwich) October 22, 2018
What a great morning crocus planting for Purple4Polio with Penn Fields School, St Georges Rotary Club and the Mayor and Mayoress, helping to raise awareness for efforts to end polio @StGeorgesRotary @WolvesMayor @WolvesCouncil @wolvesparkies @rotarycrocus pic.twitter.com/m8QMA1j7iq
— Ranger Becky (@WV_Ranger_Becky) October 24, 2018
The progress the world has made so far wouldn’t be possible without a strong network of NGO, governmental and private sector partners.
As long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat to children everywhere. The progress that we’ve made is thanks to the heroic efforts of health workers, governments, partners, and donors who are working to reach every child. #WorldPolioDay pic.twitter.com/LGud5DlJPh
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 24, 2018
Our government is fully committed to ending polio in Pakistan. On #WorldPolioDay, I am confident, together with our people, we will achieve a safer, healthier and polio-free Pakistan for our children.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 24, 2018
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 24, 2018
— UNICEF DRC (@UNICEFDRC) October 24, 2018
— World Health Organization Western Pacific (@WHOWPRO) October 23, 2018
— Michel Zaffran (@michelzaffran) October 24, 2018
Polio might be eradicated here in the UK, but survivors of the diseases still live on – meet two of them, David and Sue who are supporting the UK’s fight to help rid the world of polio #EndPolio #WorldPolioDay pic.twitter.com/yRVFNtMJ0p
— DFID (@DFID_UK) October 24, 2018
Purple4Polio Ambassadors show their support
We’re incredibly thankful for the awareness our Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors raise – including on social media!
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What a fine looking baby!! So this was me at 6 months. With feet as big as that my potential was endless! 😂🤦🏾♂️ At 15 months my life and that of my families changed completely. Just before I was due to get my final dose of the polio vaccine I contracted the debilitating disease that caused paralysis in my left leg and impaired the left side of my body! Yet I know I’m one of the lucky ones. My parents cobbled together their savings borrowed from friends and family and used the money to move to East London. The rest as they say is #history For the not so lucky children who have contracted polio in my lifetime living in developing countries many have been forced to live in poverty, been abused not given access to education, and abandoned by their families because they contracted a disease through no fault of their own that the world should’ve got rid of long ago. Please help us become the generation that finally puts an end to polio and creates a better world for our children and our children’s children. 🙏🏾 @unicef_uk @easyjet #endpolionow #worldpolioday #changetheworld @rotaryinternational @rotarygbi #vaccines
— Anne Wafula Strike (@Anne_W_Strike) October 24, 2018
— Konnie Huq (@Konnie_Huq) October 24, 2018
Today is #WorldPolioDay – Rotary has helped reduce the number of polio cases worldwide by 99.99%. We are on the brink of one of the greatest public health achievements in history. https://t.co/0uWBMMh8PE #PeopleOfAction #EndPolio
— Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) October 24, 2018