Rotary Kitimat’s Linda Campbell, Robin Lapointe and Eleanor Kendell attended the signing of the proclamation by Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

The District of Kitimat once again committed itself to the global campaign to completely eradicate polio.

As part of a global initiative by Rotary International, mayor Phil Germuth signed a proclamation recognizing Wednesday, October 24, as World Polio Day.

Polio (poliomyelitis) mainly affects children under five and can lead to irreversible paralysis. It’s a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and invades the nervous system.

The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.

There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.

Rotary in 1985 launched PolioPius and spearheaded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which today includes the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to immunize the children of the world against polio.

Rotary has contributed more than US$1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries and is currently working to raise an additional US$50 million per year, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of up to US$450 million over the next three years.

These efforts are providing much needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment and educational materials for health workers and parents.In Rotary District 5040 (B.C.), there are over 1,450 Rotary members in 51 Rotary clubs, including Kitimat, sponsoring service projects to address such critical issues as poverty, health, hunger, illiteracy, and the environment in their local communities, and abroad.

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