Airth and Kinnaird kids know the score about Polio

RotaKids Clubs at Airth and Kinnaird Primary Schools have been spreading the word about polio by planting thousands of purple crocus corms in and around their school grounds.

Airth Primary pupils in the schools RotaKids Club.
Airth Primary pupils in the schools RotaKids Club.

The youngsters also organised and ran various fundraising events.

The initiative was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Larbert and was staged to mark World Polio Day on Wednesday - an attention-grabber which aims to raise funds and awareness of the campaign to consign the scourge of polio to history.

The purple theme is a reference to the fact that when a child receives life-saving polio drops on mass immunisation days in many countries their little finger is painted with a purple dye - to make it clear they have received their vaccine.

Airth Primary pupils - ready for a spot of planting.

Rotary’s pledge to fight for a polio free world was made in 1985, when there were 125 countries where the disease was endemic, and hundreds of new cases declared every day.

By contrast In 2017 there were only 22 cases in the entire world and this year, to date, there have been just 14 cases - but Rotary stresses that as long as there is one single case anywhere children everywhere are at risk.

A Rotary spokesperson said: “Thanks to Rotary, and the support of our partners WHO, Unicef, Centre for Disease Control and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just three countries still classed as endemi - Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

“To finish the job over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free”.