11:05AM, Saturday 21 February 2015
A former rotary chairman is travelling to India to help try to rid the world of Polio.
Adrian Stabbins and his wife Veronica, from the Windsor and Eton Rotary Club, are set to travel with a group of 76 volunteers and will be vaccinating children against the incurable disease.
The virus mainly affects children under the age of five and can cause irreversible paralysis and death.
Adrian remembered back in 1985 his father-in-law telling him about the Rotary promise to eradicate polio from the world.
At that time there were 125 endemic countries and now there are just three.
"If I say that in the last two weeks there have been no new cases of polio worldwide, that brings joy to us," said the retired dentist.
"It is going in the right direction."
This will be the sixth time the couple have travelled to the country to take part in the project and they will meet up with 250 other Rotary International members from across the world.
The Rotary office in Delhi will allocate three locations where the international volunteers will be placed to assist the local Rotary members and the aim is to vaccinate more than 172 million under fives.
These areas will be in Utter Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi.
The immunisation, which is administered by two simple drops on the tongue, can be carried out easily by someone with no medical experience.
"It's important that we don't lose momentum if we are going to beat this disease and the large group of Rotarians travelling out this year illustrates that we are still as passionate as ever," said the grandfather-of-four.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, the number of Polio cases worldwide has decreased by 99 per cent since 1988.
Immunisation became standardised in the UK in 1960 and the last case of naturally acquired Polio in Britain was in 1984.
Visit www.rotarygbi.org to find out more.
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