POLIO, short for poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease caused by the polio-virus. After someone gets infected, there is a 0.5% chance of getting a muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move (paralysis). This paralysis can occur over a few hours to a few days of time. The weakness most often involves the legs. In those with muscle weakness, about 2-5% of children and 15-30% of adults die worldwide. There is no cure found for polio and it can only be prevented by immunization.
Sri Lanka is polio-free and has been for more than 20 years, with the last case reported back in 1993, all thanks to the fearless and dedicated efforts of local Rotarians, braving terrorism, wars and bureaucratic red tape. Commemorating this inspiring mission and to build further awareness towards ensuring that polio never rears its head again in Sri Lanka; Rotary District 3220 Sri Lanka and Maldives organized ‘Keeping Sri Lanka Polio Free-A walk for a cause-’ to mark international polio day with the support of the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and UNICEF . At the end of a successful ‘Polio Free Week’, it has been followed by a ‘Polio Parade’ which was held on 26th of October, with the participation of island wide Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors.
Most of our members were there on time to represent SLIIT Rotaract Club in this tremendous event while rest of our members connected to the parade on the way. Yeah! They were a little late. But they participated somehow while they were in a busy schedule showing that nothing can stop SLIIT Rotaractors. At 4.30pm, the parade started from Sri Lanka Foundation Institute with banners, vehicles, boards and so many items to inform people about keeping Sri Lanka Polio free.
After a long but fun journey of walking, we reached our destination – Green Path. From 6.30pm onwards, the Carnival Night with live music, food stalls and fellowship made our Rotaractors to enjoy that night with full of fun memories.
Rotary District 3220 Sri Lanka and Maldives also launched a T-shirt in connection with International Polio Day, launched by Rotary District Governor Rtn. Sebastian Karunakaran at the media briefing in Colombo. PolioPlus Chairman and Past District Governor Rtn. Imran Hassen and Assistant Governor and Polio Committee Member Rtn PHF Marshad Barry were also present at this prestigious moment.
As Sri Lankans, we are so lucky to live in a POLIO FREE country. And as Rotaractors, it’s our responsibility to keep Sri Lanka Polio free and join the battle of eliminating Polio from this world.
Rtr. Lasadara De Silva,