Purple Pinkie People: Rotary Clubs fight polio globally
As Rotary International celebrates its 108th anniversary (Feb. 23) Rotarians around the world are stepping up to finish the job they began in 1988, the eradication of polio.
In 2012, 222 polio cases were reported across the world, down from the 650 cases reported in 2011.
India marked its second year without polio on January 13. Overall, the incidence of polio has decreased more than 99 per cent since the Global Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988.
At that time polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Now the wild poliovirus is only endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Rotarians are determined to wipe out the scourge of this horrible disease once and for all.
In developing countries, the pinkie finger of children who are immunized is marked with indelible purple dye as a way of tracking the immunization process, hence the “purple pinkie”.
On February 23, members of the BEL Rotary Club sold Purple Pinkies (paper hands with the pinkie finger dyed purple) at Foodland in Lakefield and Bowles Valu-mart in Bridgenorth to raise money for the polio vaccine.
Although Canada has been polio free for years, there are many in our community who remember the effects of this disease.
One community member shared his story with us. In the mid-fifties he and a friend both contracted the polio virus and were admitted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on the same day. The gentleman we talked to walked out of the hospital, his friend was not so lucky.
Thank you to our wonderful community for your support of this initiative. Thanks to your generosity more than $1,200 will be contributed to the fight against polio.
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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