Rotary club president returns to India

Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club president Val Trevor administering drops to a baby in India
Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club president Val Trevor administering drops to a baby in India

Rotarian Val Trevor has made a return visit to India to continue her support for the End Polio Now campaign.

Val, president of Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club, went to Delhi in 2012 and has recently returned as part of a group of nearly 100 Rotarians from across the UK.

India has been polio free since 2011 but the campaign continues and children aged under five will be immunised for the foreseeable future. The volunteers helped by administering the necessary drops.

Christine Bohea, from the club, said: “Val was fortunate to be part of a group of nearly 100 Rotarians from all over the UK who went to help give the drops.

“They went to street booths with an Indian healthcare worker for a day and the next day went round to slum houses to immunise the children who had not been able to get to the booths.

“Small gifts were given to the children and were gratefully received. These children have nothing, so were pleased to receive something as simple as a pencil or a ball.”

Although polio has not been seen in Great Britain since the 1980s, it is still endemic in three countries - Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Since 1988, Rotary International, with co-operation from other agencies, has reduced cases by 99.9 per cent with its global campaign End Polio Now.

Polio mainly affects children under the age of five. There is no cure but it is preventable with a vaccine.

Mike Yates, National Immunisation Day co-ordinator for Great Britain and Ireland, said: “It is absolutely vital that high immunisation levels are maintained across the whole of India and the presence of visiting Rotarians at immunisation booths always increases the immunisation levels as the children come in large numbers to see them.”