Posted on Oct 30, 2023
Today 20 million people, who might have been paralyzed by polio, are walking. Another 1.5 million people, who would have died from polio, are alive. So far, the global effort to eradicate polio has saved more than $27 billion in health care costs. Another $14 billion is expected to be saved by 2050. -photos by Michael Cowhig, Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus
Rotary began the global campaign to rid the world of polio in the Philippines 38 years ago. At that time more than 350,000 children in 120 countries were paralyzed by polio every year.
Since then Rotary and its partners, such as health agencies, foundations and governments, have reduced the incidence of polio by 99.9%. When the job is done in the coming years, polio will be the second disease after smallpox completely wiped off the earth.
World Polio Day on October 24th marks the birthday of Jonas Salk, whose team developed the polio vaccine in 1955. It is a special day when Rotary International reminds everyone of the devastating impact that this disease can have on children. It’s a day when Rotary raises funds and awareness so that more children don’t experience the paralyzing effects, and sometimes fatal results, of polio.
In 2017 the Rotary Club of Vancouver Sunrise organized a City of Vancouver Proclamation that Tuesday October 24th is World Polio Day. The City has now supported World Polio Day for the past seven years.
At a Proclamation ceremony Deputy Mayor Rebecca Bligh, and City Councillors Mike Klassen, Lisa Dominato, Peter Fry and Peter Meiszner participated with the presidents of the nine Vancouver Rotary clubs.
-- video by Carlos Obregon
In 2022 inspired by the End Polio Walk at the District Rotary Conference in Prince George in 2021 Ed Kwan Past President of the Rotary Club Vancouver Sunrise suggested Vancouver and area clubs host their own walk on World Polio Day. With the support of the Vancouver and Vancouver Arbutus Club an End Polio Walk Committee was formed.
Despite the cold, rainy day, the second annual walk to End Polio started at City Hall after the ceremony and ended at Science World, where the dome was lit in red lights to mark the occasion.
World Polio Day October 24 2023
Proclamation by the City of
Deputy Mayor Rebecca Bligh
with Proclamation
(l to r) City Councillors Mike
Klassen, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa
Dominato, Peter Fry, Peter
Meiszner and Deputy Mayor
Rebecca Bligh with District
Governor Shirley-Pat
Vancouver City Councillors with
presidents of Rotary clubs in
Vancouver and District Governor