Govan group go into battle against polio threat

A LIFE-SAVING mission to India will help end the risk of polio for children in the country.

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Members of Govan Rotary Club went on the immunisation trip to New Delhi to help in the fight against the killer disease.

The club, formed in 1952, belongs to the larger non-profit organisation Rotary International, which aims to provide humanitarian services, peace and goodwill across the world.

Club member Tom Harrigan said: "the best thing about the trip was being able to help the children".

A team of eight people travelled on behalf of Govan Rotary Club to India, five members and three wives, including club president George Wills and the club secretary Dr Barry Adams-Strump.

The group went on a five-day trip to New Delhi as part of World Immunisation Day to immunise children under the age of six who are most at risk of catching the disease.

Mr Harrigan said: "The group saw poverty and deprivation but also experienced a warm and very welcoming people."

An estimated 170 million children in India have now been immunised in the fight against polio.

The team set up booths where they immunised up to 300 children a day.

Mr Harrigan said: "On our trip we saw the effects that polio has on young people."

Polio is an infectious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system and in some cases can lead to paralysis.

There is no cure for polio but through immunisation the disease can be prevented in children.

According to World Health Organisation figures cases of polio have decreased by 99% since 1988 thanks to the global effort made to eradicate the disease.

The WHO this year removed India as an at-risk country leaving only Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan with the threat of Polio.

For more information on the effects of polio visit the World Health Organisation website at www.who.int/en/

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