print this page

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Polio Day energizes polio eradicators

Volunteers around the world prepare for World Polio Day

<EM>Volunteers around the world prepare for World Polio Day</EM>

Last year, celebrations for World Polio Day included a contingent of around 460 Rotarians and friends who ran and walked the Eurasia Marathon in Istanbul, crossing the Bosporus Bridge, which connects Europe and Asia - raising about US$ 8,000.

Rotary International

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Rotarians are organizing a “Walk to End Polio Now”, joined by polio survivors. In Boston, United States, they are hosting A Festival of Voices - Singing Out to End Polio Now, featuring acapella groups. In Perth, Australia, a star-studded line-up will sing at the End of Polio concert. In Tokyo, Japan, the Tokyo Tower will be lit up in purple – like the finger of a vaccinated child – and celebrities will attend a charity auction. And, during the week of World Polio Day, polio-affected countries in Africa and Asia are planning to vaccinate more  than 80 million children.

All these events, and many more, bring people together to remember the birth of a man who led the first team to develop a vaccine against polio, Dr. Jonas Salk. It was the development of this vaccine, and its successor oral polio vaccine, that enabled the world to embark on an ambitious journey – the eradicationi of polio. Every year on 24 October, people around the world shine a spotlight on the importance of global eradication. Now that 99% of the work is done, and most children born today live free of the threat of polio, it is more important than ever that the entire world remains committed to the disease's eradication.

Rotary International is asking all those who support global eradication to visit to join the likes of Bishop Desmund Tutu, Queen Noor of Jordan, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and action star Jackie Chan to create their own personal 'This Close' poster. Supporters are encouraged to use this poster as their Facebook profile picture for World Polio Day.