Crocuses and quiz help mark World Polio Day

The bank of purple crocuses to the left of Knaresborough House, a reminder of Polio.
The bank of purple crocuses to the left of Knaresborough House, a reminder of Polio.

The Rotary Club in Knaresborough marked World Polio Day (24th February) with a buffet supper and a quiz at the Mitre which raised £500 towards the campaign to eradicate Polio worldwide.

Thanks to support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will now be tripled to £1,500.

Since 1985 the Rotary Club has been working with the World Health Organisation and other agencies to eradicate the crippling disease which is now isolated to two countries Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The UK was declared Polio free in 1982. However, there are still many British citizens alive who suffered from Polio in infancy.

So far this year, there have been only six cases of Polio worldwide – two in Afghanistan and four in Pakistan.

In December 2018 39.8 million children were vaccinated in Pakistan, with Rotarians travelling from around the world to assist with the programme. Since 2014 the number of cases in Pakistan has reduced by 96%.

The early spring has brought out the displays of purple crocuses, many planted by Knaresborough Rotarians in school grounds as part of their work in educating children about Polio.

How does that work you ask? The purple crocuses are a reminder of the purple dye used to mark the left little finger, the ‘purple pinkie’, of children given the Polio vaccine by the global immunisation teams.

In Knaresborough just look to the left of Knaresborough House to see the bank of crocuses.