World Polio Day is held on Tuesday, October 24 and Rotary clubs from Penrith and the Lower Mountains will take part in a Nepean River Walk on Sunday, October 22 to highlight the success of the polio eradication campaign over the past 32 years.
Chris and Carol Bennett, proprietors of the Nepean Belle, have thrown their support behind the promotion as part of the paddle wheeler’s 35th anniversary celebrations.
Members of the public are welcome to join more than 100 Rotarians and their partners expected to take part in the river walk. Walkers are timed to depart Tench Reserve, next to the Nepean Belle wharf, at 8am.
Rotarians and partners will wear bright red “End Polio Now” t-shirts, or coloured club t-shirts to ensure a colourful spectacle on the day.
Walkers will enjoy a stroll north along the river bank for about one kilometre, pause for a simple tree planting ceremony, and then walk back to Tench Reserve where they will enjoy a light breakfast hosted by the Nepean Belle.
Just eleven cases of Polio have been reported in two countries this year. Rotary International – with strong support from 1400 Rotary clubs across Australia and New Zealand – is edging towards ultimate victory in its campaign of 32 years to eradicate the dreaded Poliomyelitis virus from the world.
Rotary launched its worldwide campaign in 1985 when there were more than 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries around the world.
The world’s senior service club organisation was subsequently joined by several vital partners in The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, US Centres for Disease Control and Protection, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – along with many of the national governments of the world.
The discovery of another isolated case of polio in Pakistan two weeks ago is testimony to the ongoing vigilance of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative spearheaded by Rotary.
Rotary International is comprised of more 35,000 Rotary clubs in 220 countries and geographical regions – and all are being urged to mount special celebrations to highlight the importance of World Polio Day and the ongoing campaign.