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Purple Pinkie Project

Sarah Murphy, Staff Writer

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Almost every year students are encouraged to get their pinkies painted purple to help raise funds for polio vaccines around the world. The Purple Pinkie Project is run by the Rotary organization.

It is one of the biggest immunization programs, having raised about 35 million dollars towards the fight against polio. The amount needed to eradicate polio forever is about 1.5 billion dollars. To end polio, Rotary states, “We must stop transmission of wild poliovirus in the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. We must also keep other countries polio-free until we achieve certification and officially eradicate polio. Until then, up to 60 high-risk countries continue to operate large-scale immunization campaigns to protect children against polio.”

Donations were used for 31,832 volunteers in Cameroon, 14,555 social mobilizers to announce immunization days in Nigeria, and, in Chad, 95,000 markers to mark the fingers of children who have been vaccinated.

Ben Greenlaw, Principal of Presque Isle High School, said that the Purple Pinkie Project would happen sometime in February 2018. The Presque Isle coordinator of the purple pinkie project could not be reached for comment.

The Center for Disease Control defines polio as, “a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.” Polio is almost completely eradicated, but in three countries polio still exists. As long as polio exists at all, all unvaccinated children are at risk. There is no cure for polio; only vaccines prevent polio.

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Purple Pinkie Project