Redbridge Rotarians go Purple4Polio and take part in the Lord Mayor's Show
PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 November 2018
Redbridge Rotarians were joined by celebrities as they went "Purple4Polio" in the Lord Mayor's Show to mark their progress in trying to achieve a polio free world.
District Governor of Rotary in London and Redbridge Rotarian Mike Wren, along with Rotarians from across London dressed in bright purple as part of the Rotarian campaign to try and eradicate polio.
They were accompanied by two Rotary “Purple4Polio” celebrity ambassadors, BBC TV Presenter Konnie Huq and Paralympian and polio survivor Anne Wafula Strike at the show in central London on Saturday (November 10).
Since 1988, Rotary has spearheaded the campaign to end polio as a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organisation, Unicef, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who are matching every pound (or dollar) that Rotary raises to eradicate polio with another two.
Rotarians around the world have raised 1.9 billion US dollars and given countless hours of volunteering to help immunise over 2 and a half billion children globally against polio.
There needs to be three years of no new cases anywhere and no trace of the virus in any environmental samples to declare the world polio-free.
Eve Conway, Vice-Chairman of Rotary International’s End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign Committee said: “There have been just 27 cases of wild poliovirus worldwide this year in just two countries: 19 in Afghanistan and eight in Pakistan.
“This compares to a thousand new cases of polio a day in 125 countries when Rotary started its campaign to rid the world of polio back in 1985.
“With our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has reduced cases by 99.99 per cent.”
The Rotary “Purple4Polio” campaign is so-called because purple is the colour of the dye placed on the little finger on the left hand of a child to show that they have been immunised against polio.
Rotary joined members of the City of London’s United Wards’ Club for their entry in the Lord Mayor’s Show and were accompanied by a “Showman” steam engine that played music as they took part in the parade.
Redbridge Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 7pm for a 7.30pm start at Luigi’s Restaurant in Beehive Lane, Gants Hill.