Problem - To Eradicate Polio
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a terrible viral disease that causes paralysis and sometimes death. Children are particularly vulnerable to the disease which spreads by contact. Polio has now been eliminated from most of the world and is largely confined to South Asia and Africa.
Rotary solution - PolioPlus
Rotary International is attempting to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth by immunizing all of the world's children against polio. This project, called PolioPlus, is Rotary's most ambitious project to date. Since the launch of the project in the 1980's Rotary and its many partners in the project have achieved a 99.9% reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide. Over £700m has been directed at the project through Rotarian fund raising efforts and matching grants.
A World Health Organization representative on Polio Eradication has said "Rotarians have proven yet again that when there is a need, they will meet the challenge with enthusiasm and support. Rotarians can be proud that their hard work will contribute to conquering the last remnants of polio."
Contributions from Rotary Club of Upper Eden
The Rotary Club of Upper Eden raises funds for PolioPlus by exhibiting the Rotary Iron Lung around the country. The club has given financial support to PolioPlus since the scheme was first started in the early 1980’s and it continues to provide support each year through it’s donations to Rotary Foundation by different fund raising activities.
Contributions are listed below.
|Year||Contribution (£)||Total (£)|
|2018||£1,000 part payment||£21,100|
Upper Eden Rotary Club in Ghana
Two Rotarians from the Upper Eden Club (Past President Roger Frank and Rotarian Dr Carl Hallam) were recently visiting a remote area of Central Ghana looking for a Club project in the village of Ankoma when by chance the trip coincided with the Rotary Polio week. The Kwahi East region where they were staying had been designated as a vaccination area due to its historically low vaccination rate and ‘no proof not Polio neutral’ and having a silent high risk of occurrence.
Carl spent 4 days assisting with the campaign travelling round the vast area, village to village, school to school, farm to farm riding three up on an old Chinese motorcycle. The roads in the area are primarily unmade earthen tracks. Carl, and the nurse who sat on the handlebars, often had to get off and help manhandle the bike across ditches whilst still maintaining the insulated polio vaccine box upright.
A target of 1823 children aged from 1 to 5 had been set. In addition to Polio immunisation each child was given a vitamin A droplet to prevent blindness and skin rashes. Their fingers were tinted with purple dye applied by marker pen. Detailed records were maintained of each immunisation and their homes were marked by the symbol A1 in a circle. At the end of the four days over 1950 children had been immunised and the campaign deemed a great success.
For the past 10 years members of the Upper Eden Club have held a weekly wine raffle with the proceeds going solely towards Polio eradication, an annual sum of around £1000 being raised. Roger commented that it was a great insight and privilege to see the money being spent so effectively at the other end of the chain.
Did you know?
In 1921 President Roosevelt of America was crippled by polio at the age of 39. This led to his initiating massive research into the disease that led to the development of the polio vaccine that is helping to rid the world of polio today.