Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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Home Issue 41 Rotary changes lives the world over, two drops at a time

Rotary changes lives the world over, two drops at a time

By ERWIN CHLANDA

Donning an apron and frying snags to raise money for charity is the glue that holds a small community together.

The members of the three Rotary Clubs in Alice Springs are proud to have this taken a step further – a big one.

They are part of eradicating polio the world over.  

There is no cure for it, but for as little as 60 cents worth of oral vaccine, a child can be protected from the disease for life, says Rotary.

It would be only the second human disease to be eradicated.

Thirty years ago there were more than 40 new polio cases an hour. Today, there are fewer than 33 polio cases a year.

“The last 40 cases are far more difficult than the first 400,000,” says billionaire Bill Gates whose foundation matches the organisation’s dollars, two for one.

“And preventing them takes more experience; it takes more grit – and more learning and innovation.”

Which brings us back to snags and BBQs.

Local Rotarians will be holding one this Saturday at Bunnings from where the Polio Ute Relay will be heading off around Central Australia, Broken Hill, Sunraysia and all of SA, making up Rotary District 9510.

It will be a small step in the journey of raising up to US$150m a year, to which Rotary has contributed more than $2 billion, helping to immunise more than two billion children in 122 countries.

But every dollar counts. In fact it can save someone from life-long suffering.

PHOTO: The Rotary Polio Ute crossing into the NT this morning.

DECLARATION OF INTEREST: The writer is a member of the Rotary Club of Alice Springs.

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