Rotary Club to mark World Polio Day

Club will be fundraising for polio eradication programs next Tuesday at the Kootenay Ice game.

An Iron Lung will be on display during the Kootenay Ice home game next Tuesday evening to mark World Polio Day.

An Iron Lung will be on display during the Kootenay Ice home game next Tuesday evening to mark World Polio Day.

Cranbrook is doing its part to recognize World Polio Day, which falls on Friday, Oct. 24, as the Sunrise Rotary Club gears up to fundraise for vaccinations overseas.

Though Friday is the official day, the club will be present at the Kootenay Ice game next Tuesday, Oct. 28th, during a contest against the Prince Albert Raiders to show off an iron lung and raise money for overseas vaccination.

The club will have a presence at the game with the option to make donations and the chance to see the iron lung—a medical device that enables a person to breathe when normal muscle control has been lost or the work of breathing exceeds the person’s ability.

“Five years ago, our club, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, refurbished an iron lung that was used to treat polio victims, so that’s one of the pieces that we use for awareness,” said Frank Vanden Broek, a rotary member. “The other thing that we’re going to be doing, is when people make a donation, we’re going to mark their pinky with purple.

“That’s something that they do when they’re doing polio vaccines worldwide, is once a child has been vaccinated, they mark their pinky, so they know that the child has been done.”

For a minimum donation, people will also be able to climb inside the iron lung.

Poliomyelitis, more commonly known as polio, is an acute, viral infection disease that spreads through water or fecal contamination that causes inflammation of the grey matter in the spinal cord that can extend to the brainstem and can cause apnea.

The vaccination effort holds a special place for Vanden Broek, who traveled to Pakistan with his wife in February 2013 to participate in an immunization campaign for two weeks.

They were based out of Lahore, where they went to places like local schools for the to administer vaccinations.

“We did a bunch of vaccinations, went to the schools and did vaccinations, so it was pretty interesting to see,” said Vanden Broek.

“We also saw what they call the ‘draggers,’ that’s polio victims. Basically, for a lot of Pakistani, if you get polio, that’s it, you’re useless, you’re family gives up on you. These are people—imagine driving down the strip here—and they’re just dragging themselves down the street.”

Polio, which has a propensity to affect children, became a pandemic in the first half of the 20th century, until a vaccine was developed in the late 1950s. Now, the virus is all but eradicated.

However, there are still cases that are starting to flare up, mostly in war-torn regions of Africa and Asia. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been able to track specific cases, noting a rise from 39 to 206 from this time last year.

Vanden Broek attributes the rise in polio cases due to pushback from Pakistani authorities, who are wary about the intentions of the vaccination campaigns, especially after the American CIA admitted to using such means for intelligence-gathering purposes.

“It’s a couple things,” Vanden Broek continued. “One of them is an outright refusal to allow the vaccinators in, shooting them, whatever. A lot of those areas, the police and the army are afraid to go into.

“Also, you still have a lot of the uneducated people there that talk about, you know, it’s a plot by the West to sterilize their kids.”

According to Vanden Broek, polio has been largely contained to only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, however, a few cases have appeared in Syria due to the flood of refugees fleeing the violence between the government and Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL).

For more information on the progress against polio, visit


Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read