Painting the Town Purple against Polio
The Rotary Club of Epsom will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease. On Saturday 22nd October 2022 Epsom Rotary members are taking action for World Polio Day (24th) to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
There will be a stand in the Epsom Market Place, by the Clocktower, with members of the Epsom Rotary Club providing information on polio and the work being done to eradicate it. The Epsom Clock tower will be lit-up purple. The colour purple stems from a symbolic purple dot painted on the fingers of children to show they have been vaccinated.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
Past Epsom Rotary Club President, Veronica Smith, is organizing the event and hopes that members of the local community will come and visit the stand and give support to this very worthy cause.
Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 115 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.