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BEL Rotary wants to end polio now

by Sue Davidson

In 1988, when Rotary International in cooperation with the World Health Organization started the Global Polio Eradication initiative, more than 350,000 people a year fell victim to the scourge of this horrible disease.

Since that time, due to the commitment of Rotarians worldwide and the generosity of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, we are 99 per cent of the way to eradicating polio once and for all.

There are only three countries in which this disease is still endemic; Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, and the number of polio cases continues to decrease.

Rotarians travel to the infected countries to administer the gift of life – the polio vaccine. For as little as U.S. $0.60 a child can be vaccinated for life.

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”.

Although Canadian children will not likely have to endure the crippling effects of this horrible disease, children in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are not so lucky.

On Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29, members of the BEL Rotary Club will be selling Purple Pinkies (paper hands with the pinkie finger dyed purple) at the Foodland in Lakefield and Bowles Valu-mart in Bridgenorth to raise money for the polio vaccine. Your donation will be greatly appreciated.

Together, we can beat this disease!

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