Shining a Light on Polio
South Shields Town Hall was bathed in a purple light on Sunday (24 October) to mark World Polio Day.
Polio is a virus that usually attacks children under the age of five and can lead to paralysis. Although no cure has been found, a safe and effective vaccine has resulted in the disease wiped out in most countries. However, it is still widespread in some parts of the world.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay, joined Cleadon and District Rotary Club member John Gardner to light up the Town Hall.
For more than 30 years Rotary has worked, with its partners, to eradicate polio worldwide.
The Mayor said: "Until polio is eradicated completely, no child is truly safe from this horrendous virus.
"Rotary have played an incredible role in helping to vaccinate more than 2.5 billion children worldwide. Their work, and that of their partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 per cent.
"By lighting up our beautiful Town Hall, we have shown our solidarity with people across the globe who are sadly still affected by this preventable disease."
John added: "The work to eradicate polio is a real success story for Rotary. As a result of its efforts and those of its partners almost 19.4 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died.
"I'd like to thank the Council for lighting up the Town Hall and raising awareness of this awful disease."