Rotary Club organises para-soccer competition for polio survivors in Plateau

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As part of activities to mark the 2018 World Polio Day, Rotary Club Plateau under District 9125, on Monday organised a novelty para-soccer competition for polio survivors in the state.

Speaking at Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, venue of the competition, Ms Gloria Thomas, an Assistant Governor (AG) Rotary, said the club was seeking cooperation of the public to end the polio scourge.

She also said that the event was to create awareness on the importance of polio vaccination towards its prevention.

“We are seeking partnership with the survivors to engage them in creating awareness on the importance of polio vaccination as a preventive measure of the disease.

“We want concerted efforts to end polio in Nigeria and the survivors are the best persons to help us in achieving this,” she said.

She added that the partnership was required to enlighten parents and caregivers to release their children for the vaccination, saying pregnant women and young children were the most susceptible to the polio virus.

According to her, the club in Plateau had assisted the state government to end polio through donation of polio vaccines to primary health centres across the 17 local government areas in the state.

“We have assisted the state government in donating polio vaccines to some health centres in all the local government councils of the state.

“ We have organised advocacy visits to traditional and religious leaders in the state to sensitise their wards on the importance of polio vaccination and engaging them as polio ambassadors,’’ she said.

Mr James Peter, an official of one the para-soccer teams, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the platform was to support themselves through sharing experiences and business skills.

“We are 14 players registered in the Plateau para-soccer team; we use this platform to encourage ourselves. This is because sadly, some polio survivors have suffered hardship leading to depression and death.

“ We believe even as polio survivors we can contribute to the progress of our families and the country at large. Some of us are earning incomes as shoemakers, technicians and carpenters instead of begging on the streets.

“We have also recently won gold and silver trophies for the state in several competitions in Nigeria,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the match ended in favour of Team A, which scored 5 goals against its counterpart Team B with 2 goals.

NAN also reports that World Polio Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 24, to create awareness towards eradication of polio worldwide.

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