Peterborough-area Rotarians walk to stamp out polio

Peterborough-area Rotary clubs marked World Polio Awareness Day on Tuesday.

Rotary clubs from around the Peterborough region were on the move Tuesday to mark World Polio Awareness Day.

“Rotarians have been saying, ‘We’re this close to getting it gone,'” said Rotarian Doug Lockington, spreading his index finger and thumb apart by an inch. “Hopefully in a couple of years, we’ll be able to say, ‘We beat it,” and it will be gone.”

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Polio has been eradicated from the Americas, but Peterborough Kawartha Rotary Club president Len Lifchus says there are still about a dozen cases worldwide.

He says the disease can be eliminated through vaccination campaigns that come at a cost of $1.5 billion.

“We’re already at $1.2 billion of that,” he said.

To add some visibility to their cause, Rotarians walked 15 kilometres from Lakefield to Peterborough along the Rotary trail wearing ‘End Polio Now’ rain ponchos along the walk.

“It’s a big thing in other countries and we’re just trying to ensure that future generations won’t have to deal with it,” said Pai Mukondiwa, president of the Roteractors, a group for those between the ages of 18 to 34.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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