One of the efforts that Rotary Club members worldwide is to eradicate the terrible disease of polio (poliomyelitis) through out our world. To this end over the years since 1985, Rotary Club has raised many millions of dollars, which has been matched dollar for dollar by the Bill Gates Foundation and in conjunction with health authorities, to buy the vaccine and facilitate the distribution and administration in all countries.
There has been a 99% success rate.
Now, there are only three countries left with polio, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. But only yesterday I read that there were potentially 22 suspected cases in war torn Syria.
Along with many agencies and health authorities, members of Rotary Clubs worldwide will blitz areas or countries with the vaccine, and in India on their immunisation days, up to 65 million children can be immunised, protecting them for life.
Once a child has been immunised, their finger is dipped in a purple dye.
To raise funds for this wonderful cause, Rotary Club members run events and collect money from the public, and yesterday was End Polio Now day.
Because the children have their fingers dipped in a purple dye, the crocus has been adopted as a symbol, and around the UK, millions of crocus bulbs have been planted to form in future a carpet of purple to remind us of this effort, and collections are made in exchange for a crocus flower pin.
Although I felt an idiot, I recently as a Rotary member, went onto the streets of my local town to collect money. Wearing a crocus headgear, I stood waiting and hoping for donations from from the giving fatigued public.
Thank you those who have helped to save those who need to be immunised against polio.
My little effort was just a drop in the ocean, but an ocean that joins other oceans to cover the world.