Posted by Peter Roaf on Aug 07, 2018
Children in India show their pinky fingers painted purple for a few days to indicate that they have received oral polio vaccination. Billions of children's lives around the world  have been saved or spared the crippling, lifetime burden of polio since Rotary took the lead over 30 years ago in ridding the world of polio. We are almost there, but it will still take a massive effort of professional expertise and volunteer time and an estimated US$1.5 billion more to reach that goal. Rotary District 5040 Past District Governors, Chris Offer and Penny Offer, who are members of the Ladner club, explain the scope of the global campaign and their involvement in it.
Polio epidemic at home and abroad in the 1940s & 1950s
(top) and adult polio victim in Nigeria with hand
propelled tricycle which he cannot use, confining him to
home, 3 months a year because of mud in rainy season
Since 1988, when there were 350,000 cases of polio around the world in 125 countries, Rotary has led, and
has been joined by the World Health Organization, governments, including Canada's, and foundations, including
The Rotary Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to eliminate polio from the world and make
sure it is. So far this year there are three final countries battling the disease and only 13 cases reported.
Chris Offer gives oral vaccine to a 12-hour old newborn 
in a village of India
Penny Offer colours the pinky finger of children in
purple to indicate they have received the vaccination
Millions of vaccinators walk through villages, house-to-
house in countries still threatened by polio or its return
Penny and Chris Offer (top) in India during an
immunization day in India with a banner promoting
the important community event. Chris Offer (bottom) at
a World Health Organization base in South Sudan.
To prepare for, and hold, just one single polio immunization day in India alone, over the course of five days takes
an enormous effort and supply of resources. There are two immunization days in India each year. Other countries
also have similar immunization days.
A polio immunization team walks through each bus 
arriving on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan to 
immunize any children 5 or under for polio
The Polio Emergency Operations Centre in Nigeria is
another aspect in the front line fight against polio
Penny Offer, right, learns about the battle to end polio
in regions of Pakistan
Chris Offer, centre, with health officials in South Sudan
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
centre, is recognized for the Canadian government's
significant contributions to the end polio campaign, by
2015-16 Rotary President Ravi Ravindran and former
Rotary President, Canadian Wilf Wilkerson
The Government of Canada has continued to provide
substantial support of the global end polio campaign, as 
acknowledged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau, who was speaking at the June 2018
Rotary International Conference in Toronto
Penny OfferChris Offer
President Kerry-Lynne Findlay, right, thanks Penny
and Chris Offer