Rotary Club of Tynemouth
Rotary Club of Tynemouth

So Close

Two drops can save a life. Two polio strains remain. Two countries are still endemic. Watch the new Polio Take Two video from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to see where we've come and where we're going in the fight against polio.

Polio Eradication

Because there is no cure, the best protection against polio is prevention. For as little as 25p worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.

 

We have not had polio in Great Britain and Ireland for a long time now, yet many people aged 60 and over will remember fears about the use of swimming pools or swimming in the sea during hot summers and have vivid memories of victims in iron lungs.

 

Polio knows no borders and carriers frequently move from one country to another. The virus can therefore reappear in previously polio free countries. In 2007 there were cases of polio in nine African countries, although polio is only endemic in one of them.

 

If polio isn't eradicated, the world will continue to live under the threat of the disease. More than 10 million children could be paralysed in the next 40 years if the world fails to capitalise on its US$4 billion global investment in eradication.

 

Since making the pledge in 1985 to eradicate polio - its most ambitious programme to date - Rotary International in partnership with health agencies has brought the number of cases of polio down by 99 percent.

 

Where there were 350,000 new cases of the disease every year, there were just over one thousand by the end of 2010. This last one percent must be wiped out to make sure no child falls prey to this paralysing and sometimes fatal illness. In 2013, just 3 countries remain endemic with the polio virus - Nigeria, Afghanistan & Pakistan.

Children show off their painted little finger - purple dye is used to signify a completed immunisation

Polio is the shortened name of poliomyelitis, the crippling disease caused by the polio virus. One in 200 cases results in paralysis, which leads to the limbs of the victim becoming limp and disfigured. The paralysis is almost always irreversible. Historically, polio has been the world's greatest cause of disability.

 

During national immunisation days (NID) in India, as many as 65-million children can be immunised. Volunteers hold these days every six weeks and will visit remote villages and the slum areas to deliver the life-saving vaccine. Booths are set up in major cities, attracting school children and families, who will travel for miles to protect their children.

 

Polio can strike at any age but currently affects mainly children under five years of age in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It is passed through person-to-person contact and is most prevalent in overcrowded conditions where standards of hygiene are poor. The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs.

Cote d'Ivoire: A Case Study in Polio Eradication

Cote d'Ivoire: A Case Study in Polio Eradication from Rotary International on Vimeo.

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6.30 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. at

The Village Hotel, Newcastle

Cobalt Business Park,
West Allotment,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE27 0BY

 

Telephone: 0191 2706491

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