Great Yarmouth Minster to be lit up in purple to help fight against polio

 The Minster Church of St Nicholas at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Minster Church of St Nicholas at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

One of Great Yarmouth's towering land mark buildings is to spectacularly change its colour to help promote the fight against polio.

The Minster will be lit up in the colour purple by the Rotary Club of Great Yarmouth to highlight World Polio Day, which is on Tuesday, October 24.

The Purple4Polio event, which will see the Minster lit up during the whole of next week, is part of the Rotary End Polio Now campaign.

The colour purple has been chosen as purple dye is placed on the little finger of children's left hands to show they have been immunised against polio.

Since Rotary and its partners launched a global polio eradication initiative nearly 30 years ago the number of cases has fallen from 350,000 in 125 countries to just 37 in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria this year.

Derek Houghton, president of the Rotary Club of Great Yarmouth, said his club had been supporting the campaign for many years and the end was now in sight in ridding the world of the viral infection.

He said: 'Younger people do not know the problems cause by polio as they have all been immunised against it.

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'But many of the older generation in the town may remember what a terrible problem it was in the olden days.

'We do not want this disease to come back.'

To help raise further funds for the polio campaign the Rotary club will have collection buckets at the Minster next week.

Overall Rotary had contributed $1.7bn to ending polio since 1985, including many thousands of pounds contributed by the Great Yarmouth club and Norfolk and Suffolk Rotary District 1080.

Over the next three years the Rotary movement will contribute $50m a year to polio eradication measures, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donating £2 for every £1 set aside by Rotary.

About one in every 200 people with the polio infection will have some degree of permanent paralysis, and others may be left with problems that require long-term treatment and support, such as muscle weakness, tight joints and twisted feet or legs.

There hasn't been a case of polio caught in the UK since the mid-90s.

In August the British government pledged £100 to the fight against the virus.