It is open to public on the beach road near YMCA till January 21

Rotary district, Visakhapatnam, set up a mobile museum on polio to create awareness among people about polio and the need to eradicate it.

The mobile structure, an air balloon with walls on four sides and top is set up on the parking area on the beach road near YMCA here and will be open to public during evening hours till January 21.

Inside the temporary structure one can find posters detailing the fight against polio world over since 1985 when Rotary launched its Pulse Polio programme with an initial pledge of 120 million US dollars which rose to a billion dollars till now.

The charts explain that 3.5 lakh cases were reported in 125 countries in 1985 and the number dropped to 1,500 in four countries by 2007. Polio is an endemic in only three countries in 2012 -- Nigeria (104 new cases), Pakistan (54) and Afghanistan (30) while India has been marked one year free of polio in January 2012.

As many as 150 countries were declared polio free in 1996. The Americas, Western hemisphere and Europe were declared polio free in 1991, 1994 and 2002 respectively. The charts also give details of the work being done in African countries.

Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan too must get rid of polio so that the earth could be free of polio.

One chart says that Taliban is preventing polio immunisation programme in some rural areas of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. Even one case of polio would be enough to spread the disease to neighbouring areas. Hence it is necessary to ensure every one is vaccinated.

Rotary district governor Ch. Surya Rao said the display was planned to attract people’s attention and their involvement in polio eradication.

Another 800 million dollars were required to eradicate polio in the three countries and to continue immunisation programme in India. Rotary district Visakhapatnam would contribute 2 lakh dollars for the programme.

The show would be held in different places of the Rotary district (covering the revenue districts from Srikakulam to Krishna) with a longer show to be held in Vijayawada from February 12 to 24, with the second National Immunisation Day falling in between. The first NID, January 20, would be during the show here.

The show would move to MVRG Engineering College near Vizianagaram for a three-day programme from January 26. A model UN Assembly session would be held on January 27.

Wheel chairs

Minister for Infrastructure and Investments Ganta Srinivasa Rao inaugurated the show and former Rotary governor Varada Reddy distributed wheel chairs for physically challenged persons. Polio victims needing wheelchairs could contact Jagan of the Rotary Club (92466 17666). They need to submit a copy of the certificate of physical disability and proof of identity.

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