Doncaster schoolchildren join global push against crippling disease

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Joining a global campaign against a crippling disease was the Rotary Club of Doncaster St Leger and town schoolchildren.

In recognition of World Polio Day, Rotary Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland and the rest of the world participated in a global push to raise funds and the awareness needed to defeat polio.

Polio kills and paralyses young children and whilst there is no cure for it, it can be easily prevented. The number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 per cent since the 1980s, when it infected 350,000 children each year.

A spokesman said: “For as little as 40p worth of vaccine a child can be protected against the disease for life. Rotary hopes that the fight against polio can finally be won and it becomes only the second disease to be wiped out after smallpox in 1979. From 125 countries in 1988 there are now just three countries in the world where polio is endemic - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.”

In recent years several Doncaster schools have raised funds for the cause in a variety of ways and been part of the ‘Purple Pinkie Power’ project – planting thousands of crocuses – inspired by the tiny dab of colour on a child’s finger indicating the child has been inoculated against the deadly virus. The humble little crocus symbolises a colourful splash of hope for a new beginning and renewed efforts – a reminder of how potent an impact many working together can create.

This year participating schools – Heatherwood School, Hexthorpe Primary, Pheasant Bank Primary Academy, and Town Field Primary have planted crocuses and raised funds in support of the ‘End Polio’ campaign during the weeks leading up to World Polio Day. They were joined by the Friends of Sandall Park who also planted crocuses in the park.