Annual End Polio Now Tulip campaign-spearheaded by Pam Harrison, Rotary Club of Sackville
The tulips were designed and created in Holland specifically for the End Polio Now campaign. Each box sold provides vaccines for eight children.

What is Polio?

Poliovirus is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. It can be transmitted through direct contact with someone infected with the virus or, less commonly, through contaminated food and water. People carrying the poliovirus can spread the virus for weeks in their feces. Polio can lead to temporary or permanent muscle paralysis, disability, bone deformities and death.  Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.
  • In 1988 — when wild poliovirus was in more than 125 countries, paralyzing 350,000 people every year — the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to help eliminate the disease through a mass immunization campaign.
  • In 2007 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined other major health organizations already committed to the GPEI, contributing nearly $3 billion toward eradicating polio by 2020.
  • There are now only two countries with cases of the wild polio virus in existence today - Afghanistan and Pakistan. Political and social turmoil have made vaccinations in some areas of the world difficult.
  • Dr. Jonas Salk is credited with developing the first safe and effective polio vaccine in 1955.
  • The first initiative to wipe out polio through mass vaccination of children began in 1985 with the launch of PolioPlus by Rotary International.
  • According to the World Health Organization, as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200 000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.
  • Many survivors of polio will develop post-polio syndrome (PPS) later in life. The symptoms of PPS include weakness, fatigue, breathing and swallowing problems and muscle atrophy. It is estimated that up to 50 to 70 percent of polio survivors may experience the disabling effects of post-polio syndrome 25 to 45 years after their initial recovery from polio. There are approximately 125,000 Canadian polio survivors.
  • World Polio Day is celebrated on October 24 every year to raise awareness for polio vaccination and eradication of polio. It was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Dr. Jonas Salk who developed the first polio vaccine.