Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle members wearing the club’s “End Polio Now” T-shirt.
PHILIPSBURG–World Polio Day is observed by Rotary Clubs worldwide on October 24. In St. Maarten, Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset and Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle will be hosting events and initiatives to create awareness on the eradication of polio and to honour the efforts of the volunteers and organisations committed to its eradication.
Rotary Sunset will be selling “End Polio Now” wristbands throughout October to raise funds in support of worldwide polio eradication efforts. It will be conducting a polio awareness drive at Carrefour Supermarket on Bush Road from 10:00am to 2:00pm today, Saturday. During this drive, the club’s End Polio Now wristbands will also be on sale.
“Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to encourage the general population to contribute towards polio eradication efforts. We are close to a polio-free world and we need your help,” said the club on Friday morning.
Rotary Mid Isle will host its annual Ramesh Manek Walk-a-Thon to “End Polio Now” on Saturday, October 19, starting at 5:30am.
Tickets are available from all Mid Isle Rotarians for US $15 per person, which includes breakfast and an “End Polio Now” T-shirt. Tickets can also be purchased at the event.
The walk starts at Tony’s Air Conditioning on Orange Grove Rod in Cole Bay (opposite Carl and Son’s Bakery and Unique Inn). From there, participants will travel via Waterfront Road, Airport Boulevard, the causeway bridge, Union Road, and Orange Grove Road to end back at Tony’s Air Conditioning.
Support is also possible by joining participants at the breakfast after the walk, said Rotary Mid Isle on Friday.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralysing and highly-infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It mainly affects children less than five years old, and it can quickly spread from person to person through contaminated water. The virus mainly affects the central nervous system and often leads to paralysis of a person’s limbs.
Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, and the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation later joined and matches 2 to 1 every dollar raised by Rotary, up to $150 million annually.
Since the initiative was launched, the polio incidence rate has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 22 cases in 2018.
More than 2.5 billion children have been immunised because of GPEI. Rotary has committed to raise $50 million each year in support of global polio eradication efforts. Rotary International’s main objective is to completely eradicate polio from all parts of the world, making the world polio-free.
Rotary International will be hosting a global online update on October 24, 7:00-7:30pm. This year’s programme will highlight the heroes of polio eradication, with stories from a polio-endemic and recently-impacted areas, said the club.
Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets at Pineapple Pete’s in Simpson Bay on Tuesdays at 7:00pm. For more information, persons can send an e-mail to
For more information about Rotary Sunset, persons can send an e-mail to
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91682-rotary-sunset-and-mid-isle-join-the-fight-to-end-polio