Wear purple to help fight polio

Wednesday October 25, 2017 Written by Published in Local
The outer-islands got behind World Polio Day enthusiastically last year, says former Rotary president Ronnie Siu’lepa. Pictured are children from Aitutaki’s Apii Vaitau, proudly wearing their purple clothing. 17102402 The outer-islands got behind World Polio Day enthusiastically last year, says former Rotary president Ronnie Siu’lepa. Pictured are children from Aitutaki’s Apii Vaitau, proudly wearing their purple clothing. 17102402

This Friday, Rotary Cook Islands is championing a local effort to help end world polio.

 

They are joining Rotary International in a global “Almost There” campaign, supported by personalities as diverse as U2’s Bono, actor Jackie Chang, golfer Jack Nicklaus, famed anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“We are ‘this’ close to making sure no child suffers a crippling disease ever again,” is the catchphrase of this year’s World Polio Day. There are only three countries left in the world that have never stopped the transmission of polio - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

But as long as a single child remains infected with poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease, health experts say.

All you have to do to get involved in the fight against the disease is to wear purple on Friday in support of the campaign, and make a gold coin donation.

And, whatever is raised by Rotary International, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also double the amount.

Cook Islands Rotary is encouraging individuals, organisations and businesses to get behind the cause.

Former Rotary Cook Islands president, Ronnie Siu’lepa says the Cook Islands made a big impact on last year’s campaign, with schools leading the charge.

Children from Apii Ararura (Aitutaki), Black Rock Pre-school, Apii Niua (Pukapuka), Apii Rutaki, Enuamanu School (Atiu), Imanuela Akatemia School, Nukutere College, Takitumu School, St Joseph’s School, Titikaveka College, and Vaitau Primary School all wore purple clothing in support of the fundraiser.

“I can't believe how much support we got last year, and hope we get the same or more this year. We would like to encourage workplaces to wear purple and give a coin donation. Our small nation can make a difference...even with the little money we may have”, says Siu’lepa. Anyone keen to participate can do so by contacting Rotary Cook Islands president  Mareko Boyd on 55250, secretary Juanita Wynne on 53766 or Ronnie Siu’lepa Phone: 79602.

Usually held on October 24, the event has been moved this year to Friday October 27, due to the school holidays.

For more information - see endpolio.org.      

            - Chris Taylor

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