West Kirby Rotary club contributes to Africa region being declared wild polio-free
West Kirby Rotary Club has played a role in a significant global public health achievement, as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free.
Polio is a debilitating disease mainly affecting children, which can cause paralysis and even death.
This incredible milestone is the result of decades of effort from Rotary clubs and volunteers around the world, who have fundraised, campaigned, and worked tirelessly since Rotary pledged to rid the world of polio more than 30 years ago. Rotary has directly contributed more than US$2 billion to ending polio since 1985.
West Kirby Rotary Club has played their part through fundraising and donations as well as raising awareness through purple crocus plantings on Rotary Corner and Sandlea Park in West Kirby and lighting up the popular West Kirby bar and restaurant The Wro, in purple each October.
The certification comes four years after Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa, recorded its final case of wild polio and now means of the WHO’s six regions, five of those – accounting for 90% of the world’s population – are free from polio.
Globally, more than 2.5 billion children have been protected against the disease, which have reduced the number of cases by 99.9% from around 1,000 cases per day in 125 countries.
Ann Ryan, President of West Kirby Rotary Club said, “This is a terrific landmark in the world’s battle to eradicate polio. Although it has been many years since polio has been present in the UK and Ireland, we are proud to have contributed to the global efforts to eliminate the disease for good.”
Despite this significant milestone being reached, the job to fully rid the world of polio goes on, as the virus continues to circulate in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In order to sustain this progress, vaccination programmes must continue to protect every last child and strengthen routine immunisation to keep immunity levels high, so the virus does not return to Africa or other parts of the world, including the UK.
World Polio Day this year is on 24th October – keep a look out for The Wro and other buildings around the Wirral being lit up in purple this week to raise awareness. If you are a business owner and can help with this awareness raising activity, do please get in touch with us.
The End Polio Now campaign is just one of the many volunteering activities the club is involved in every year. Volunteers from our club will be at Morrison’s West Kirby on 5th September to raise money for Rotary charities and are available to talk about our club and how we help our community locally as well as nationally and internationally – pop along and say hello, we always welcome new members.
To get involved in Rotary and make a difference in your community and around the world visit www.westkirbyrotary.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
West Kirby Rotary Club Saddle Up and raise £1045 for Prostate Cancer
West Kirby Rotary Club raised £1045 in June for cancer charity Prostate UK by organising a “virtual bike ride” around the North West’s six key cancer hospitals – an estimated distance of 170 km.
The club did not let Covid restrictions and social distancing get in their way as they rallied friends, family (young and old) along with fellow Rotarians from district clubs to get on their bike – either a real one (whilst staying safely distanced and within their allotted exercise time!) or from the safety of their home on a stationary bike. All individual distances were logged, photographed, or videoed and eventually resulted in a distance of 477.31 kilometres being covered and £1045 raised in donations!
The weather was kind on the day which enabled participants to get outdoors on their bikes either in their gardens or cycling for real through the glorious local countryside. The “virtual route” took riders past The Countess of Chester, Clatterbridge, Arrowe Park, Royal Liverpool, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester and back to Broadgreen, Liverpool.
So much fun was had along the way, with live Facebook updates during the day keeping the encouragement going. Many people have turned to cycling during lockdown and were glad of an opportunity to get out and put their ride to good use by raising much needed funds for Prostate UK.
The Rotary Bike ride is an annual, nationwide event which traditionally draws large crowds but had to be cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak, so West Kirby Rotary Club is delighted to have been able to make a donation to Prostate UK via their Just Giving Page. The page is still open, so if you are able to contribute please do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wkrcrotaryride2020
West Kirby Rotary Club has an active social calendar and more events planned to raise money for the local community, so if you would like to get involved or find out more about us, do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. Visit www.westkirbyrotary.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.