Rotary End Polio Campaign

Thu 3rd December 2020 at 9.00 am - 11.30 am

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system

This December members of Westbury Rotary Club will brave the chilly winter air and plant thousands of Crocus corms.  

On 3rd December this year we are planting over 2400 crocus corms along the grassed verge just up from Lidl store on Bitham Park.  We will be adhering strictly to the latest Government guidleines on social distancing and pertinant health and safety regulations as wel as Rotary guidleines.

On 5th Dec we will also be planting over a thousand corms to the grassed area at All Saints Church just beyond the church gates in Market Place.

Last year we planted crocuses to the grass verge in front of Prospect Square. 

We hope to produce a wonderful show in the months and years to come.

The flowers should burst through the soil and provide a stunning show in the months to come.

And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring
.

–Oscar Wilde

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system.

In August, Rotary and the world celebrated a significant milestone, as the World Health Organization certified the Africa region, which includes 47 countries, free from wild polio.

This leaves just Pakistan and Afghanistan as the two remaining polio endemic countries in the world. But despite this momentous progress, more challenging work lies ahead to eradicate the disease for good.

Rotary members throughout Great Britain and Ireland will be planting 2 million purple crocus corms across their communities, adding to the almost 22 million which planted in previous years.

Purple has become a symbolic colour in the fight against polio, inspired by the colour of the dye painted on the little finger of a child to signify they have received their potentially life-saving polio vaccine.

This is essential on mass immunisation days when literally millions of children receive the vaccine across entire regions or even countries.

Westbury Rotary President, David Pike commented, “We’re proud to be planting these purple symbols of the Polio campaign. Only together can we end polio and we can all play our part in the continuing global efforts to eradicate the disease.

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) over 30 years ago, globally, more than 2.5 billion children have been protected against the disease, with the number of cases reduced by 99.9% from around 1,000 cases per day in 125 countries.

In order to sustain this progress, around 2 billion doses of the vaccine still have to be given to more than 400 million children in about 50 countries every single year.

This is in addition to the routine immunisations that happen elsewhere around the world, including in the UK and Ireland.

Without full funding, political commitment and volunteer-led social action, there is a real threat that polio could return, putting children worldwide at risk.

Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation every £1 we raise is matched 2-to-1 so is worth £3 to the campaign.

Rotary has contributed more than US$2.1 billion to ending polio since 1985.

Contact the Westbury Cub of Westbury to find out more about our crocus planting event on 3rd December 2020 at Bitham Park and other activities you can get involved in to help end polio.

www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=1231

To get involved in Rotary and make a difference in your community and around the world, visit www.rotarygbi.org/join


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