October 24th is World Polio Day. Those of us of “a certain age” will remember the scourge of Polio in this country and the wide use of the “Iron Lungs” in hospitals when this crippling and life-threatening disease remained endemic across the world.
Now, thanks to the work of the Bill Gates Foundation, Rotary’s End Polio Now and Purple for Polio worldwide projects for more than 35 years now, polio is almost eradicated with only a hand full of cases being reported this year in some of the remotest parts of North Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Rotary International’s pledge for a polio free world was made in 1985 when there were 125 polio endemic countries and hundreds of new cases every single day. In the past few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio caused by the wild polio virus, but no child anywhere is safe until every child has been fully vaccinated. The cost of the drops to immunise a child against Polio is so very small.
To mark the World Polio Day the Oswestry Cambrian Rotary club will be lighting up one side of the St Oswald’s Church in the centre of Oswestry in purple – the Rotary theme colour for Purple for Polio. Purple because, when a child receives their life-saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine.
If anyone can remember polio in this country or seen polio sufferers in their travels abroad then Cambrian would like to hear their story. Especially if it involved the local Orthopedic Hospital and the Iron Lungs in use for the sufferers.
The Oswestry Cambrian Rotary is ready to welcome all genders and couples of 18+ from the local community who want to be “people of action”. They normally meet face-to-face at The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry on Thursday evenings at 7.45pm and meet in the bar. Alternatively, you can join our meeting from anywhere via our Zoom account connection.
For more information on what their new style of Rotary has to offer contact Mike Lade on 01691 570917, firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.oswestrycambrianrc.co.uk.
Pictured: St Oswald’s Church.