Rotary Club of Georgetown stages World Polio Day walk
In an effort to help in creating a Polio-free world and galvanising communities to help end the paralysing disease, the Rotary Club of Georgetown on Sunday last (October 20) held a World Polio Day walk around Georgetown.
The event is among thousands to be held by Rotary clubs around the world before, on and after World Polio Day, observed on October 24.
“Rotary members in Guyana are taking action against the backdrop of World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today,” Peter Peroune, the president of the Rotary Club of Georgetown, said.
The fifth annual 5k walk began at 06:15h at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street, headed South into Church Street, left into Irving Street, left into Lamaha Street and then back to Camp Street, ending at the point of origin.
The walk was followed by a fundraising breakfast at the Georgetown Club where an estimated 250 Rotarians, family members and friends gathered.
Peroune said, “All proceeds of the fundraiser will go towards the Rotary International Polio foundation as every club has the duty to donate to the fund. When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralysed 1,000 children every day. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.”
He added, “With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.”
Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to ending polio since 1985, including USD$50 thousand donated by the Rotary Club of Georgetown over the years.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service.
From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.