SHOPS and old buildings in a Vale of Clwyd town were illuminated purple in celebration of global efforts to reduce cases of polio by 99.99 per cent.

Ruthin Rotary Club (RRC) organised the luminaire in the colour theme of World Polio Day, led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) on October 24. Polio is a virus found in faeces and has most often affected people in poorer countries where there is not clean drinking water. It can lead to nerve injury, paralysis and breathing difficulties.

Since the GPEI was established in 1988 to carry out wide-scale immunisation vaccinations, inspections and research campaigns – in cooperation with international organisations including International Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign – cases of poliovirus fell from 350,000 in the late 1980s to 33 last year.

The end goal is to eradicate polio completely.

The Ruthin Rotary Club has helped raise funds for the End Polio Now campaign and staged the awareness day to highlight the work being done. Prominent buildings in the old market town including Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin School, St Peters Church and Pendref Chapel were lit up with help from DH Evans Electrical Services and Dolben Electrics.

Terry Bolton, RRC secretary, said: “Ruthin Rotary Club is proud to have turned many of the prominent buildings in Ruthin purple, the aim is to make our community aware and to support the eradication program.”

International Rotary committed to raise 50 million dollars annually to support the GPEI. Without volunteer action, political commitment and public and private funding, there is concern that polio could return and put more lives at risk.

To get involved in Ruthin Rotary Club or for more information about the End Polio Now campaign, email