Bolton Castle lit up in purple for World Polio Day

Wensleydale Rotary club is lighting Bolton Castle purple to mark World Polio Day on October 24.

Purple is the adopted colour of the End Polio Now campaign reflecting that when a child receives life-saving polio drops on mass polio immunisation days, their little finger is painted with a purple dye, so it is clear they have received their polio vaccine.

Prior to 1960, polio was endemic throughout the world causing paralysis and sometimes death. Polio can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Each year polio paralysed 350k children annually.

In 1985, Rotary International launched PolioPlus working with international partners, the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative, with an initial fundraising target of US$120 million which was soon achieved and surpassed.

By the late 1970’s Polio was eradicated from the UK and Europe and from the Americas by the 1990’s. In 2000, a record 550 million children received the vaccine and the western pacific region from Australia to China was declared polio-free.

Today after 35 years Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have reduced polio cases by 99.9%. Today there are only two countries in the world where wild polio is endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rotary continues to raise funds to help achieve the ultimate target – the elimination of polio from the world.

The castle was lit up with the permission of the owner Lord Bolton.

Donations can be made to https://www.rotarygbi.org/donatepolio/