Crocus bulbs will be planted in prominent places across Melton next week to raise the profile of a campaign to eradicate polio, a devastating and extremely infectious disease.
The October 24 initiative, by the town’s Rotary organisations, will mark World Polio Day with the aim of providing colourful purple floral displays next spring.
There will be two million crocus bulbs planted in the UK alone on the day.
Plantings will be made at St Mary’s Church, near the borough council offices at Parkside and at Pera Business Park and residents are being encourage to wear purple on the day as well.
Rotary has been involved in an awareness campaign on the issue since 1979, attracting significant support from the private sector and the World Health Organisation.
Together they launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, when the disease was rife in 125 coutries, affecting at least 350,000 people.
Today there there are fewer than 100 cases of wild polio worldwide and these are limited to just two countries.
However, to eradicate polio entirely and ensure that it does not return, each year more than 450 million children in over 50 coutries, including the UK, must be vaccinated.
Rotary’s PolioPlus campaign has enabled 2.5 billion children to be immunised, preventing 1.5 million deaths and more than 16 million children being paralysed.