Sleaford Rotary Club members help tackle polio in India
FOUR members of the Rotary Club of Sleaford have played their part in trying to rid India of polio by voluntarily flying out for National Immu- nisation Day.
Norry Bell, Andy Dunlop, David Leech and Stephen Bath joined Rotarians from other parts of the UK as well as from Belgium and Australia to help immunise millions of children under the age of five on the streets of Lucknow.
Mr Bell said: "The four Rotarians from Sleaford helped immunise more than 1,000 children, and visited more than a dozen booths in Lucknow to show the west's support and help promote the immunisation programme.
"While they walked around the streets of Lucknow, throughout the country 209 million homes were visited during the week, with volunteers utilising 155,000 vehicles, from cars, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles and boats to camels and elephants – whatever it took."
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In the last three years the number of polio cases reported globally has dropped from 650 in 2011 to 222 last year and so far this year there have been just two reported cases.
After three days in Lucknow on the National Immunisation Day programme, the Sleaford Rotarians travelled to Amritsar on the Indo-Pakistan border where, as well as touring the Golden Temple, they again promoted the polio campaign by visiting another immunisation booth at one of the hospitals.
They also met health workers still patrolling the less touristy alleyways of the inner city.
Mr Bell added: "While their participation in the National Immunisation Day campaigns in 2010 and 2013 have been unforgettable experiences, those from the Rotary Club of Sleaford who took part hope this was the last time their service will be needed, and that after 28 long years of immunisation, India will soon be declared totally free of this terrible disease."