Rotary Clubs raising money to help eliminate polio this weekend

Photo by Rotary Club of Fort St. John Facebook page.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Both Rotary Clubs in Fort St. John are going to be teaming up to help raise money in the fight towards eradicating a disease that is often assumed to no longer be a problem.

Rotary Club of Fort St. John President-elect Raven Pruden said that this Satruday, both his Club and the Sunrise Rotary Club will be bringing world-renown polio survivor Ramesh Ferris to speak at the Lido Theatre about his experiences contracting the disease. Poliomyelitis is an infectious disease caused by the polio virus that causes permanent paralysis in 1 out of 200 cases.

Though the first vaccine against the virus was developed in the 1950’s, and Canada last recorded a case of polio in 1978, there were 42 cases of polio recorded in 2016 in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The World Health Organization has set a goal of completely eradicating cases of polio infection by 2018.

Pruden said that this weekend’s event will feature Ferris speaking about his experiences, and helping to bring awareness to the fact that the disease has not been completely eradicated the way other deadly diseases such as smallpox have been. The event is by donation, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the End Polio Now campaign. Pruden said that those funds raised will be matched by the federal government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Fort St. John Interact Club is also going to be helping raise money for the End Polio Now campaign on Sunday with a hot drink sale at Save on Foods. The fundraiser is taking place from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, with each drink set to cost one dollar or by donation.

End Polio Now is taking place on Saturday at the Lido Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 7:30. Admission is by donation.

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