End Polio Now

Epworth & Isle of Rotary Club plant Crocus Bulbs

You may have noticed members of the Epworth & Isle of Axholme Rotary Club acting like squirrels this Autumn.  Close inspection would reveal that they have not been burying nuts but rather crocus corms. Here is why.

In 1985  1,0000 new cases of polio were diagnosed every day. This viral infection can affect the central nervous system with potential to paralyse limbs or affect speech, swallowing and breathing. Many of us will recall the use of splints and iron lungs. An oral vaccine was developed in 1962.

Rotary International decided that it was going to work to eradicate polio entirely. By raising monies, working with other including governmental agencies and by volunteers travelling to third world countries to take part in immunisation this aim has almost been achieved. Now less than 1 new case occurs each week!. Affected countries are limited to Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

$14 billion has been spent. $ 4billion is pledged but a final $1.2 billion is needed. The Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation has pledged to donate $2 for every $1 raised by rotary until 2018.

We are nearly there but if not finished completely the potential for return of the disease remains.

We are planting 5,000 corms locally to raise awareness and hopefully funds, informing the primary school children and making our town more colourful next and future springs.

Any donations to further this work will be gratefully accepted. (via church wardens or any local rotarian). £4 can give treatment to 20 children.

Why purple crocus corms? Well in illiterate communities children have their little finger marked with purple dye to indicate that they have been vaccinated.