Crocus Planting

Rotary clubs throughout the country have organised various events to highlight efforts to eradicate polio from the world.  

plantingAs part of this campaign the Rotary Club of Hexham have arranged for the planting of 5000 crocus bulbs in a three metre wide circle close to the bandstand in Hexham.  Richard Nelson, president of the Rotary Club of Hexham explained that the purple crocus is the central symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with the purple representing the dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised against the disease. It is intended that, in the spring, these bulbs will provide a visible reminder of the campaign.         

Since Rotary  launched the PolioPlus programme  in 1984 clubs, including the Hexham club, have raised more than $1.2 billion to fight the disease. More than two billion children in one hundred and twenty two countries have been immunised and polio is now limited to three countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. The total number of cases notified so far this year in those countries has dropped to thirty two, an enormous reduction on the three hundred and forty cases recorded in those countries in 2014. Polio could be the first human disease of the twenty first century to be eradicated and Rotary is a major player in that effort.