As the world recognized World Polio Day, the BEL Purple Pinkie people were out in force, collecting

donations and raising awareness of the presence and world status of this horrible disease.


In 1988, when Rotary International in cooperation with the World Health Organization started the Global Polio Eradication initiative, more than 350,000 people a year fell victim to the scourge of this horrible disease.  Since that time, due to the commitment of Rotarians worldwide and the generosity of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, we are 99% of the way to eradicating polio once and for all.   There are only three countries in which this disease is still endemic; Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, and the number of polio cases continues to decrease.


Rotarians travel to the infected countries to administer the gift of life – the polio vaccine.  For as little as US $0.60 a child can be vaccinated for life.   In developing countries, the pinkie finger of children who are immunized is marked with indelible purple dye as a way of tracking the immunization process, hence the “purple pinkie”.  Although Canadian children will not likely have to endure the crippling effects of this horrible disease, children in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are not so lucky.  

On Friday October 24th, the world will recognized “World Polio Day”.  BEL Rotarians met at the Valumart in Bridgenorth and the Foodland in Lakefield to sell the Purple Pinkies and raise awareness of this disease.  Thanks to the commitment of our members and the tremendous support from our wonderful community, we raised $825.!!  With the 3:1 matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the cost of approximately 60 cents per vaccine, more than 4100 children will received the vaccine!

Together, we can beat this disease!