We strive hard to publicise the on-going fight to eradicate polio worldwide

As part of this years Rotary Worldwide Campaign to raise awareness of the efforts being made by Rotary to eradicate polio, members of the Rotary Club of the Sussex Vale planted 3,000 purple crocus corms in and around Hassocks; Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill. The plantings took place over two Saturdays, the 21st and 28th October, and it is hoped they will give a great display of colour in February/March next year. The planting dates were specifically chose to embrace the Wednesday 25th October.

Said club President, Peter Wills, “Wednesday the 25th was Polio Awareness Day and the club members gave up their week-ends to plant the crocus either side of this day. I was amazed at how quickly we got the job done”.

With only very few cases of polio left in the world Rotary are determined to finish the job and eradicate this awful life changing disease.

These recent pictures of a site in front of Adastra Hall were taken on March 9th 2017, more than six years after their planting. A great achievement by Rotarians of Sussex Vale, and many thanks to the Parish of Keymer for nurturing them so well.

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Photos (2017) submitted by the President, Duncan Honeyman

Sussex Vale Rotary Club planted 1,000 purple crocuses at Adastra Park on 2nd October 2010 so they would flower in Rotary Week 2011 to publicise the campaign to eradicate polio round the world. Purple was chosen because that is the colour of the ink used to mark the fingers of children in countries like India to show they have been given the vaccine. Millions of children have been spared from the curse of this crippling and potentially fatal disease thanks to Rotary working alongside Unicef, the World Heath Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. About 30 years ago there were 129 endemic countries with 350,000 children being infected every year. Today because of international dedicated efforts there are very few new cases of polio anywhere in the world.

Crocus

Thanks to the efforts of Rotary International Clubs all over the world, and strongly supported by The Gates Foundation, together with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the fight is being won.

Mr Gates has suggested polio could be eradicated in as little as three years time. He said that the last case of polio in India – where it was prevalent in the past – was in 2011, while Africa had not had a case in the last twenty months.

“The only cases we have right now are in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.