Since pioneering the campaign to End Polio Now over 30 years ago, Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide, but we won’t stop until we reach the end. Keen supporters, volunteers, vaccinators and Rotary members have connected with one another on social media. Here are some of the highlights.
World Polio Day 2019 – Global Update
This year, Rotary International changed the global update stream to suit the variety of timezones where Rotary members, volunteers and polio supporters would be tuning in from. Instead of streaming live, the footage was aired from Evanston numerous times so that more people had a chance to connect on #WorldPolioDay.
This year’s edition highlighted heroes of polio eradication, stories from recently impacted areas and other topical news.
Thousands tuned in for the 6pm Great Britain and Ireland stream, but you can catch up by watching the video below.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
A crucial partner for total polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donate 2:1 for every donation made by Rotary towards the total vaccination process.
Dr Jay Wenger (@jay_wenger), Director of the Polio Programme at the @gatesfoundation has used #WorldPolioDay to send a message of gratitude and collaboration to @Rotary members in Great Britain and Ireland, and around the world.https://t.co/eqaXrgi38k#EndPolio
— Rotary GB & Ireland (@RotaryGBI) October 24, 2019
It’s World Polio Day!
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 24, 2019
World Health Organization (WHO)
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) October 25, 2019
Gee Tee Bulb Company
Good Morning Fellow Twitterers,
Wishing good weather and every success to all who are planting crocus bulbs in aid of #Purple4Polio to help #EndPolio #EndPolioNow for #WorldPolioDay #worldpolioday2019 pic.twitter.com/xT3N4t3zQ8
— Gee Tee Bulb Company (@GeeTeeBulbCo) October 24, 2019
Buildings all over the world were lit in colours representing Rotary’s campaign to end polio. In Great Britain and Ireland, the main focus was flooding towns in a sea of purple, representing the #Purple4Polio campaign. Purple is the colour of dye used to indicate that a child has safely been vaccinated.
Birmingham Breakfast & West Bromwich Rotary
Two Midlands-based Rotary clubs organised the illumination of Library of Birmingham in the city centre. Volunteers gathered at dusk to inform the public about polio, and Rotary’s campaign to eradicate it.
Lytham Rotary members lit nearby windmill in purple light as well as celebrating the first birthday of Passionately Purple Gin. Nearly £7,000 has been raised from the 1,180 bottles purchased over the year. Thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this figure has been tripled to £21,000.
To purchase the gin, download the order form and submit to Herbert Chatters as instructed. The 70cl bottle is priced at £35, with £6.20 contributing to End Polio Now, and the taster 20cl bottle is priced at £15, with £4 contributing to the cause.
Mersey Gateway Bridge is a toll bridge up north, which was lit in purple last night in time with World Polio Day.
Melton Mowbray Rotary
Members in Leicestershire lit various pinpoints of the community in purple to raise awareness of Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio.
— MeltonRotaryEntGroup (@MeltonRotaryEnt) October 24, 2019
Leeds White Rose Rotary
— Sarah Mills (@sarah_n_mills) October 25, 2019
If you were in #Gravesend last night and wondered why the Clock Tower was illuminated purple it is because the Rotary Club of Gravesend @RotarySE1120 @endpolionow celebrated #WorldPolioDay; a Rotary Programme to eliminate Polio world wide #endpolio pic.twitter.com/ZV5luKpLC7
— Rotary South East UK (@RotarySE1120) October 25, 2019
Leamington Spa Rotary
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The 1,240 Challenge – Get Moving to End Polio
The 1,240 Challenge is a new initiative for Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland to get involved with. Its name was inspired by the length of the border between the remaining two polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Over in Wales, Rotary members were keen to incorporate the new activity into their World Polio Day activities.
#Cadets attended Cardiff Castle with @Rotary1150 & @DonnalWallbank to launch the 1240 Get Moving to end Polio project. Castle was lit up in project purple and Cadets learned all about the disease. Thank you to all for the invitation. #EndPolioNow pic.twitter.com/bVxxNWecbx
— Gwent Police Cadets (@GPPoliceCadets) October 25, 2019
Lighting up for World Polio Day in #Narberth. #Purple4Polio #EndPolioNow #raisingawareness with the @gatesfoundation for the #eradication of polio worldwide. The Launch of 1240 Challenge, Purple Own Clothes Day for Rotakids all for the @EndofPolio pic.twitter.com/5Er9a8HKab
— Narb & Whit Rotary (@NWRotary) October 23, 2019
— Donna Wallbank (@DonnaIWallbank) October 24, 2019
Every year, Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland plant purple crocus corms under the #Purple4Polio initiative, which flower the following spring.
The purple crocus has become a recognised symbol of polio due to its colour matching the pinkie of a child who has received its vaccination against the disease.
This year (approximately) 2,440,000 crocus corms were sold to Rotary members across Great Britain and Ireland.
Redditch Kingfisher Rotary
Despite the rain, Redditch Kingfisher Rotary brought the community together on Sunday 13th October 2019 with a mass crocus corm plant. 12,000 bulbs were planted by 99 volunteers in under an hour.
Students from a local school were invited by Evesham Rotary members to get involved in a crocus corm planting at The Walled Gardens at Croome Court.
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A group of students from @thedemontfortschool School and @prince_henrys_high, together with @eveshamrotaryclub, will be returning to The Walled Gardens at Croome on Thursday 24th October 2019 to plant 4000 crocus corms, helping to raise awareness for World Polio Day. . . There will be an opportunity for the public to see all the bulbs in bloom when the Walled Gardens at Croome Court re-open from Easter 2020. . . Purple is the colour of the dye placed on the little finger on the left hand of a child to show they have been immunised against polio, hence the name @purple4polio . . #croomewalledgardens #croome #walledgarden #planting #crocuscorms #simondemontfort #rotaryclub #purple4polio #worldpolioday2019 #worldpolioday #polio #crocusplant #crocuses #volunteers #kitchengarden #gardening #eradicatepolio #springflowers #polioawareness
Great morning yesterday, handing over thousands of purple crocus bulbs for Oakham. Planting kindly started by @RutlandLL .
Thank you yet again for your support on ROTARY POLIO DAY.@therutlandtimes @rutland_radio @RotaryGBI @rutlandcouncil @oakhamnubnews @RutlandPolice pic.twitter.com/VGZkb4GgpR
— Rotary Rutland Oakham Uk (@oakham_uk) October 25, 2019
— Lingfield Primary (@LingfieldPri) October 24, 2019
Scarborough Cavaliers Rotary
Today 3 children went to plant 2500 crocus bulbs on valley road to celebrate World Polio Day supported by The Rotary Club of Scarborough Cavaliers. pic.twitter.com/qSmQmRKTwA
— Friarage CP School (@FriarageS) October 24, 2019
Purple4Polio Ambassadors show their support
We’re incredibly thankful for the awareness our Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors raise – including on social media!
Ade is a Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassador who contracted polio as a child, which paralysed him from walking.
He contracted polio in his birth country of Nigeria, a country which has passed the landmark goal of three years without a declared case, however, Ade is keen to eradicate polio from the world within his lifetime.
This week, Ade visited Wembley Stadium and met Rotary Editor Dave King. You can read an article here.
“The last few steps are always the toughest, but once we end it, once it is all over, it will all absolutely be worth it,” Ade commented.
.Please get involved and support #WorldPolioDay this October 24th! Only 2 countries left where polio is endemic. We’re getting closer to making #History and totally eradicating this terrible disease for good. #EndPolio https://t.co/l7GQQkGseC
— Ade Adepitan (@AdeAdepitan) October 20, 2019
Anne Wafula Strike
Anne is a British Paralympic wheelchair racer who shares the passion to eradicate polio. Strike contracted the disease aged two, in home-town Kenya.
Polio is already 99.9% eradicated.
There’s one thing that will help humanity make history — and banish the disease forever: !
— Global Citizen UK (@GlblCtznUK) October 24, 2019
Around the world
As the world takes its final steps to eradicate polio, Rotary clubs all over got involved in illuminating famous buildings and involving the community.
Turks and Caicos Islands
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The Rotary Club of Grand Turk along with members of the Ministry of Health, the Rotaract Club of Grand Turk and members of the community took to the streets to bring awareness of the disease Polio in honor of World Polio Day. World Polio Day is celebrated on October 24 annually. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against Polio. Polio is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of five. The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system and in some instances lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and its partners have used to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide. #EndPolioNow #Polio #GlobalHealth #PolioEradication #Rotary #RotaryFoundation #RotaryGT #RotaryLife #WorldPolioDay #October24 #ThisClose #D7020 @rotaractclubgdt
Polio awareness campaign Bus panel display in @ChennaiTN city buses T-Nagar bus terminus flag of BY DG Rtn. Chandra mohan, Dist., polio plus Chairman Muthusamy.
Let keep Indian polio free.@Rotary @EndPolioNow #polioplus3232 #pi3232 #sm3232 #RID3232 pic.twitter.com/zAdlhlruC3
— Rtn. Arulprakasam T (@Arulnnr) October 23, 2019
El CR Pasto Valle de Atriz celebró el día mundial de la Polio con los niños de los Barrios Santa Clara y El Pilar de nuestro proyecto – Ciudadanos del Mañana – dijimos PONGAMOS FIN A LA POLIO. #EndPolioNow #RotaryConectaElMundo#Rotary4281 pic.twitter.com/aPrTA4lMG5
— Rotary4281 (@Rotary4281) October 25, 2019
— CERES TV Valladolid (@noticiasVLL) October 24, 2019