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Photo of the Battery, 'purple-for-polio'

Rotary's 2020 World Polio Day programme on 24 October hails this year's historic achievement in polio eradication: Africa being declared free of the wild poliovirus. 

Paralympic medalist and TV presenter Ade Adepitan, who co-hosts this year's programme, says that the eradication of wild polio in Africa was personal for him. Adepitan, a polio survivor who contracted the disease as a child said "I've been waiting for this day since I was young. But we're not done, we're in pursuit of an even greater triumph --- a world without polio. And I can't wait."

Polio is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 1985 there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries; in 2019 there were approx 170 cases in 2 countries following mass vacination programme.

Polio is a serious, viral infection that used to be common in the UK and worldwide. For some people, the polio virus causes temporary or permanent paralysis which can be life-threatening. Cases of polio in the UK fell dramatically when routine vaccination was introduced in the mid-1950s.

Photo by Kenny Maule

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