Rotary club helps pupils dig in to fight against polio

Watched by Toni Letts, the Mayor of Croydon, pupils from Broadmead Primary School plant up crocus bulbs in their local park

Pupils from Broadmead Primary yesterday planted crocus bulbs at the neighbouring King George V playing fields in Gloucester Road, to help to raise awareness of Rotary Club of Croydon’s End Polio Now campaign.

The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Toni Letts, came along to support and spoke with the pupils.

At the end of the planting session, the 20 trowels were donated to the school together with a large number of bulbs for them to plant and nurture within their own grounds.

Sarah Hunter, the Broadmead head teacher, with a Rotary teddy bear kitted out in an End Polio Now jumper

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 per cent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases in 2016.

To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable fund founded by the Microsoft squillionaire, has matched Rotary’s commitment, and doubled it.

A spokesperson for the Croydon Rotary Club said, “Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.”

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