Community

Wrapping up Polio

District 5050 (Northwest region) Rotaract representative Jennifer Petrichenko, left, and Rotaract Club of Cloverdale president Janice Khunkhun pose with Rotary International President Sakuji Tanka. They were at the Oct. 19 Polio walk in Vancouver.  - Contributed photo
District 5050 (Northwest region) Rotaract representative Jennifer Petrichenko, left, and Rotaract Club of Cloverdale president Janice Khunkhun pose with Rotary International President Sakuji Tanka. They were at the Oct. 19 Polio walk in Vancouver.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Members of a Cloverdale youth service club will be doing their part in the fight against polio by helping you with your holiday wrapping.

The Rotaract Club of Cloverdale will be wrapping presents by donation as part of efforts to eradicate the crippling childhood disease.

Club members will be at the Walmart in Langley Dec. 15 to 16 and 22 to 23, with all proceeds going directly to the cause.

It’s just one of the activities the youth service club has undertaken to help spread the message that polio can – and must – be stamped out.

“I’m working to end polio now because everyone needs to come together and help Rotary with the final push to eradicate polio from the world,” said Janice Khunkhun, president of the Rotaract Club of Cloverdale.

Across the globe on World Polio Day Oct. 24, Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs – Rotary-sponsored service clubs for young people aged 18 to 30 – were taking part in activities to raise awareness in the battle against the infectious disease.

For instance, a group of Rotarians and their community supporters from Victoria, Australia, gathered in front of parliament wearing End Polio Now shirts.

And in India, volunteers from Rotary clubs in Taiwan and Korea took part in national immunization day.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a campaign involving the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations Children’s Fund, plus the support of governments and private donors.

Last month, Rotary pledged $75 million over the next three years to the cause.

Since 1985, Rotary has contributed approximately $1.2 billion towards the protection of children through immunization and other programs.

It’s hoped polio – a highly infectious disease that causes paralysis and even death – will be the first disease of the 21st century to be eradicated through combined international investment and immunization efforts.

It remains endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Last February, India was removed from the list of polio endemic countries after attaining a polio-free designation after reporting no new cases for a full year.

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