Oct 162019

Gravesend’s famous Clock Tower will shine purple from sunset to midnight on Thursday, 24 October, 2019, joining thousands of buildings around the globe for World Polio Day.

Polio now seems a distant memory in the UK although our children are still routinely vaccinated against it. Gravesend Rotary is supporting the global campaign to see the end of the disease once and for all. This time using the tower’s unique floodlighting scheme.

Purple comes from the colour of the ink marking the little finger of every child receiving the polio vaccine drops in the End Polio Now campaign.

Thanks to Rotary, and the support of partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just two countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

To finish the job over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free.

Gravesend Rotary President Andrew Moffat highlighted that the countries might seem distant but with travel as numerous and easy as now then polio could arrive back.

“It still could be only a plane flight away unless it is completely eradicated.”

Gravesend Rotary has also provided 4,000 purple crocus bulbs to be planted in Woodlands Park this month.

Brian Portway

More information about Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign