ZANESVILLE, Ohio – While polio was once a widespread disease, health professionals are on the cusp of eradicating the issue on a worldwide scale. Locally, the Daybreak and Noon Rotary Clubs of Zanesville are teaming up to cure polio in the final two affected countries.
Sheila Everett, Noon Rotary President, says a local observance will take place later this week.
“So, World Polio Day is going to be October 24 and this year, we’re going to be celebrating locally at noon on the 24th with a proclamation from the Mayor on the courthouse steps. And through Rotary, we raise funds to help eradicate polio worldwide. Last year, there were only 33 confirmed cases of polio in the world. We know that we still have cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan; so we are working with our Polio Plus Program; where we donate money to Rotary and they use those funds for the vaccines.”
Polio has been nearly wiped out within the matter of a few decades; however children are still at risk abroad. Ed Mulholland, Daybreak Rotary President, says the organization has been fighting the disease for many years.
“In 1985 when Rotary joined the fight, there were 350,000 cases annually around the world. And so, getting down to just 33 last year in just two countries is huge. Over 2.7 billion children have been immunized in the last several decade through Rotary’s campaign.”
The Rotary World Polio Day event will be held outside of the Zanesville courthouse on Thursday. The courthouse and the downtown bridges will be lit in purple for the occasion. A food truck will also be on site to provide lunch.