Two brave Rotarians have recently returned from India where they helped immunise thousands of children against polio during India’s National Immunization Day.
David Ward and Eric Hall from Melton, joined hundreds of Rotarian volunteers from Great Britain and Ireland in combating the disease across Delhi, Karnal, Bhiwadi, Badaun and Kolkata.
The aim of this year’s National Immunisation Day was to vaccinate over 172 million children under the age of five.
Both were part of a small team of 12 people in Ludhiana, in the West Punjab. The group which included health workers and medical students rallied to publicise the dangers of polio.
David, who travelled to India for the first time and Eric for his second, said: ‘There is a personal benefit from volunteering in knowing that you may have prevented a child from contracting this terrible disease. It is a very rewarding and a moving experience.
“In addition, it helps that the turnout of children is surprisingly high, when we, as strange foreigners arrive dressed in our bright yellow Rotary shirts.”
Each dose of vaccine costing around 20p. It is administered by two simple drops on the tongue and can be carried out easily by someone with no medical experience.
Children once immunised, get a purple mark painted onto the nail of their small finger of their left hand, before receiving a small gift such as pencil, pen, or balloon.
To donate to End Polio Now or to join Rotary visit www.rotarygbi.org or www.meltonrotary.org.uk