Since 1985, Rotary International has embarked on a crusade to eradicate Polio worldwide, when in that year over 350,000 cases crippled and killed many adults and children. Thanks to Rotary, the World Health Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a total of £975 million has been raised. Now less than 200 cases have been reported, with only 3 countries having the disease, these being Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. It is hoped that polio will be eradicated globally by 2018.

To highlight their work in helping to fight polio, Church & Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club recently exhibited an iron lung at Asda’s Accrington store. Several of our students visited the display and even got inside it for an insight into what life was like for a polio sufferer.

Business Manager Carmel Cunliffe said: “Thanks to the Rotary Club, this display of the Iron Lung has been most illuminating in showing the students what many people had to endure before vaccines became available. The students very much appreciate what has been achieved to virtually eliminate polio throughout the world.”

Over 200 people visited the iron lung, an exact replica of those used in this country to help sufferers breathe. It was built by Rotarian Roger Frank and took over 700 hours to complete.