Gates Foundation boosts Rotary Club’s collection to fight polio

More than £1,300 was raised to help eradicate polio around the world at an event staged last week by the Rotary Club of Croydon.

The World’s Greatest Meal event, with guest speaker Trudi Hilton, saw members donate hundreds of pounds, the final collection for the End Polio Campaign being tripled thanks to the generosity of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Hilton is a Rotarian and a Global Pharmacy Consultant who, after 20 years working in the NHS, became a humanitarian aid pharmacist and has since worked in many disaster areas and developing countries all over the world.

She spoke about the difficulties encountered in getting the right medication to these areas to be stored and distributed in a controlled way, considering time and temperature constraints. Also of the problems encountered when the wrong types of medicine, or unfavourable conditions, hamper that work.

Stephen Kirkman also provided the meeting with an update on the End Polio campaign.

On World Polio Day, which was on October 24, it was announced that wild polio virus Type 3 had been eradicated throughout the world. Also that Nigeria had not reported any polio cases since September 2016 and was on its pathway to be declared completely polio-free very soon.

Kirkman said that just two countries remain to eradicate polio: Afghanistan and Pakistan, but they, too, are very close to achieving that goal.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Croydon, click here.

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