Rotary Club of Georgetown stages World Polio Day walk

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See full press release from the Rotary Club of Georgetown:

World Polio Day is observed around the world every year on October 24 and in an effort to further the cause of creating a Polio-free world, continuing the global awareness and galvanising communities to help end the paralysing disease, the Rotary Club of Georgetown on Sunday October 23, 2022 held a World Polio Day walk around Georgetown.

The event was among thousands of similar initiatives held by Rotary clubs around the world before, on and after World Polio Day.

“Today we joined our fellow Rotarians around the world in further efforts to eradicate polio. Rotary members in Guyana continue to take 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,” Sheldon Hazelwood, the president of the Rotary Club of Georgetown said.

The sixth annual 5km walk began at 06:45 am at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street, headed South along Camp, East along Church Street, North along Irving Street, West along 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 200 Rotarians, family members and friends gathered.

Hazelwood 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 as was observed recently in the state of New York. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts.

Rotary has contributed more than US$2 billion to ending polio since 1985, including over US $50,000.00 donated by the Rotary Club of Georgetown over the years. Together these resources have enabled Rotary to immunize over 3 billion children worldwide.

The President further stated that the event on Sunday was a huge success for the club and he was especially grateful to all the Rotarians, friends, family members and corporate sponsors such as DeSinco Trading, Toucan Industries, Republic Bank Limited, Guyana Breweries Inc., Power Producers & Distributors Inc., and Fernandes Guyana Enterprise Inc.

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