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Sleaford Rotary Club members head to India in fight against polio

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

BIG TRIP: Sleaford Rotarians Andy Dunlop, Norry Bell, David Leech and Stephen Bath before their voluntary trip to India to help fight Polio.

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FOUR members of the Rotary Club of Sleaford have headed out to India to join in the fight to rid the country of polio.

The four members, at their own expense, joined Rotarians from all over the country on Thursday for the 10 day trip as part of the National Immunisation Programme.

Norry Bell, 68, who went on a similar trip on 2010, said: "After an initial briefing we will be working with medical staff who bring in children aged five years and under to be immunised.

"Despite there being no reported cases in India over the past 18 months it's still vitally important to prevent any further outbreaks by continuing the immunisation programme. After that we will go round the streets with the team and stop anyone with children who look under five and immunise them too."

The group will join medical staff in Lucknow, in the eastern region, where more than 3,000 vaccination stations have been set up to welcome families and their children.

In cases where families may find it difficult to travel to the stations then Rotary volunteers will travel to the remote villages, knocking on doors and immunising children with the special polio vaccine.

Rotary International, alongside others, has been involved since 1985 providing volunteers to assist in the enormous task of immunising over a three day period a total of 172 million children under five.

Mr Bell, who lives in South Rauceby and served in the RAF for 40 years added: "It's such a worthwhile thing to do. It shows people out there that we are there to support them and I'm not afraid of an adventure."

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