A TRIO OF Bangor Rotary and Inner Wheel members recently visited India as part of a nationwide Rotary club campaign.

On January 28, over 170 million children, aged up to five years old, were given the potentially life-saving polio vaccination, thanks to Rotary UK's End Polio Now campaign.

Peter Jones from the Rotary, his wife Nannette and Anna Chambrey from the Inner Wheel joined 90 other Rotary volunteers from across Great Britain and Ireland who flew out to help immunise some of the children.

They worked alongside local volunteers in Delhi, Kolkata, Bhiwadi, Amritsar and surrounding high-risk villages.

The group made house-to- house visits for families who were unable to travel to vaccination booths.

Peter said the extra help makes a huge difference to protecting India from the crippling and, at times, fatal disease. “Rotarians and other volunteers go out twice a year to help Rotary clubs in the area reach as many children as possible." he explained.

"There are other regular vaccination events but these larger National Immunisation Days (NID) draw huge numbers of children and families.

“We want to keep India’s children safe from polio. Rotary will keep immunising every child possible to spare them from a life of disabilities and pain.”

Peter, Nannette or Anna say they had en eye-opening experience in India.

"We saw with our own eyes just how important it is to keep on immunising these children and bring back the message that this is a vital job.” Nannette said.

Thanks to worldwide Rotary efforts, the number of endemic countries has dropped from 125 to three over the last few years.

"India has been declared polio free but there is always the threat of re-infection." Peter explained.

"Migrant workers and refugees arriving from war-torn countries may be carrying the virus and so it is critical to maintain ongoing high levels of vaccination."

To donate to End Polio Now or to join Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, visit rotarygbi.org or contact secretarybangor@gmail.com from the Rotary Club of Bangor.