RINGWOOD Rotarians have paid tribute to pupils at Ringwood School for backing its campaign to End Polio Now.

The worldwide project, which was launched by UK Rotarians 30 years ago, has seen the immunisation of millions of children in India thanks to its Purple Pinky project, when children receive a purple mark on their finger after being given the polio vaccine.

For the last three years pupils at Ringwood School have raised money to eradicate the disease of the past, which still lives on in other parts of the world.

A spokesman from Ringwood Rotary Club said: “Our thanks go to the pupils and staff of the Ringwood School.

“Not long ago India was the biggest problem so two of our members, Alan Hollands and Alan Olson took part in immunisation days in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in India.

“On National Immunisation days in India 150 million children are immunised. Teams go house to house to ensure that all children are immunised in the area, hence the importance of the purple pinky.

“The really good news is that India has not had a case of polio for more than three years and will soon be declared polio-free.

“When the campaign comes to its successful conclusion in a few years time this will be only the second disease that man has manage to eliminate.

“When the campaign began there were nearly 1,000 new cases of polio every day and 125 countries were polio endemic.

“In 2012 there were 223 cases in the whole year with just three endemic countries. These countries are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria and finishing the task is not going to be easy.

“We must finish the job and we need support.”

For information about End Polio Now contact Alan Hollands at foundation@rotary1110.org.