A pair of friends are travelling to India in the New Year to support the vaccination of thousands of children against polio.
Eric Hall and David Ward, members of the Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray, will be joining 90 volunteers from across Great Britain and Ireland to immunise millions of tiny vulnerable children in the hardest hit areas, as part of Rotary’s “End Polio Now” campaign.
Eric has made the trip three times and David twice. The pair, who’ll be based in Kolkata on January 28, will be working in Delhi, Kolkata, Bhiwadi and Amritsar. Both admit that although the work is hugely rewarding some sights are difficult and saddening to absorb.
These Rotary supported National Immunisation Days make a huge difference to protecting India from this crippling and, at times, fatal disease. There are other smaller vaccination events which, while beneficial, are geographically less extensive than the national events.
India has been declared polio free but this does not mean immunisation can stop. There is always the threat of re-infection from migrant workers and people seeking refuge from war-torn countries who may be carrying the virus.
Thanks to Rotary’s efforts, the number of Polio endemic countries has dropped from 125 to three: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
To donate to End Polio Now or to join Rotary International visit rotarygbi.org