Rotarians aim to rid the world of polio

Rotary swimathon, cadets with certificates. Queensferry Sea Cadets.
Rotary swimathon, cadets with certificates. Queensferry Sea Cadets.

A Rotary Club-organised swimathon in aid of the End Polio campaign has raised around £1000.

More than 30 young swimmers turned up at Queensferry Recreation Centre swimming pool on Saturday, March 22, to participate in the fund-raiser.

Several of the swimmers are pictured (right) with their certificates.

Those taking part came from the town’s primary schools as well as a a large contingent of sea cadets from TS Lochinvar - the detachment of the organisation based in the town.

A spokesman for Queensferry Rotary Club said: ‘‘All of the particpants were a great credit to their parents, carers, their schools, youth groups and to themselves.

‘‘Thanks are due to the organisers of the Swimathon, Morag McCallum, Gerald Smith and Neil Mckinlay.’’

On March 27 this year, south-east Asia was the latest location to be declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation.

Polio-free certification of this region, which contains 11 countries, is a historical milestone for global health.

One of these countries is Nepal.

Rotary members in Nepal regularly take part in national and subnational Immunisation campaigns to keep the country polio-free. Although they have not experienced a case of polio since 2010, it is vital that they continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine as long as polio still threatens children throughout the world.

Rotary released $500,000 in December 2013 as an emergency response to the polio outbreak in strife-torn Syria, which had not reported polio since 1999.

Through January 31 this year, there were 23 confirmed cases in Syria since October 2013, all traceable to a polio strain circulating in Pakistan.