Students strive to end polio

By Sydney Anthony, Contributing writer

The Rotaract Club held an End Polio Fair in front of the Carr Health Building Monday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anna Vasquez, president of the Rotaract Club and senior from Orange Walk, Belize, said polio is a disease that affects children and causes them to be crippled for the rest of their lives. However, she said children can be protected with one vaccine for the entire time they are susceptible to the disease.

She said many people in America have forgotten how devastating polio is because the disease no longer affects Americans.

Vasquez said the Rotaract Club’s main focus is raising awareness and money for polio vaccines. She said the fair is one of the many projects the Rotaract Club has done in the fight against polio.

She said she hopes many students stop by the fair to participate in activities.

Twinkle Bhojwani, senior from Belize City, Belize, said polio affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in southern Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

She said although polio is 99.9 percent eradicated, a lot of work will need to be done to reach the 0.01 percent of people affected by polio.

Bhojwani said the Rotaract Club hopes to promote awareness of polio at the fair but also allows students time to relax and play games with the Rotaract Club members. She said, in addition to fun lawn games, students can take photos with props promoting polio awareness.

She said she hopes that students will donate money because Unicef is matching donations dollar for dollar.

Mansi Hukmani, sophomore from Belize City, Belize, said she was excited to interact with people at the fair and raise awareness for the crippling disease. She said this is her second time participating in an event and she was excited to see everyone who stops by.

Vasquez said students who stopped by participated in Twister, “candy pong,” entered a raffle and painted their pinkies purple. 

She said the purple pinkies are used to indicate who has been vaccinated when doctors travel.

Murray State students are stamping their pinkies on a sign which Vasquez said will hang in the Curris Center once World Polio Day is over.

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Photos by Kelli O’Toole/The News