Posted by Michelle Tanner on Nov 02, 2018
Article first published in The Scene November 2019
Matamata Rotary were among millions of Rotarians reaching out on World Polio Day 24thOctober, to raise awareness and funds for polio eradication. Sometimes referred to as Purple Pinkie Day because, in developing countries, a child’s little finger or ‘pinkie’ is painted purple to avoid them being revaccinated in mass polio vaccination days. Purple was certainly on display in Matamata last week.
Matamata Intermediate School students showed their support with a purple mufti day following a talk from Matamata Rotarian and District Polio Chair Michelle Tanner about the disease.
“Many children have never even heard of polio and parents today do not see this disease as a threat. However, the virus is just a plane ride away and the only way to keep our children safe is to ensure we continue to vaccinate” says Michelle
Rotary’s goal, is global eradicationSince Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 22 cases in 2017. To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising $75 million each year in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.  
The Matamata Purple Pinkie Day street collection raised $111.80. With Gates Foundation matching this is enough to buy vaccine for nearly 500 children. 
Leonie Tisch and Ann Duncan collect for EndPolioNow outside PaperPlus   
Rotary Matamata would like to thank the community for their continued commitment and support to eradicate this disease.
About Rotary
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit endpolio.orgfor more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.