World Polio Day October 24 Members Preparing to light the cathedral in purple

Tue 24th October 2017

World Polio Day October 24 Members Preparing to light the cathedral in purple

Tuesday, October 24, is being celebrated as World Polio Day.  As part of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Purple4Polio campaign, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Rotary Club is marking historic progress towards a polio-free world by lighting up local landmarks.  The plan locally is to light up Dunblane Cathedral and other local buildings in purple.

Also on the 24th, schools from Bridge of Allan and Dunblane will plant 5,000 purple crocuses, a symbol for End Polio Now.

And why is purple the chosen colour?  The answer is that purple is the colour of the dye placed on the little finger on the left hand of children to show they have been immunised against polio, hence the name of the project - Purple4Polio. With millions of children to vaccinate, this makes it easier to see who has been protected and who has not.

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to under 15.  But mass inoculations have to continue to ensure the final eradication of this appalling disease.

To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million (£38 million) per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. With full funding and political commitment, the return of this paralysing disease to previously polio-free countries can be prevented, ensuring that children everywhere are no longer at risk.

Donations to support End Polio Now can be made at endpolio.org using the Donate button.