Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease which has afflicted children and adults for centuries. Yet for as little as US$0.60, a child can be vaccinated for life.
Since 1979 Rotary clubs and foundation has been involved in a campaign to ‘End Polio’ through providing free vaccinations to all that need them. The campaign is supported by the ‘’Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’, WHO, and UNICEF. Since that time Rotary members, clubs and supporters have raised over $1.08billion to fund this campaign. In 2012, the effort to end polio made historic progress. The year ended with the lowest number of new polio cases in the fewest places ever. There were fewer than 250 reported cases, compared with 350,000 cases in 1985, when Rotary began the fight to end polio.
Today, we are “this close” to creating a polio-free world
But if we don’t finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years. The following site gives ideas on how we as individuals or groups can get involved:
Focus on the Crocus
The crocus was picked as an emblem of the fight against polio as it is the same colour as the ink used to signify that you have received a vaccination. As part of a UK wide Rotary initiative in February 2012 Tilehouse organized the biggest ever mass planting of crocus in ‘Butts Close’ (they are still visible to this day) raising over £2000 for the campaign.
650 adults and children gathered on the park, armed with a “dibber” and 5 crocus bulbs each; planting them in lines and circles in the ground. There were entertainments and refreshments provided and the weather was kind too.
In addition to raising funds for the campaign because of fantastic numbers attending the event we were also awarded the Guinness World Record for mass planting
It was another fabulous event supported by the Hitchin community combining a real sense of fun and purpose.