|SSU Rotaract Club warns of perils of polio
Though it has been wiped out across the globe in all but three countries, polio is still a present concern that deserves attention, as proven by the Sonoma State University Rotaract Club on Oct. 24 during their polio awareness event, Polio Day.
World Polio Day is an international event molded in the hopes of raising awareness towards the fact that polio, no matter how rare, is still a present disease, and reminding parents to get their children vaccinated for the disease.
“(The event was) mostly just for awareness, we were taking donations, but that wasn’t really the point,” said SSU Business major and Rotaract Club member Jarod Salinas. “It was to get the point out and spread the message (about polio prevention).”
Globally, World Polio Day is sponsored and put on by Rotary International and hits around the world in a big way. According to Salinas, the event’s trademark sigil, a large sign with a red background, the Rotary International logo and the giant words “End Polio Now,” are thrown up around high-traffic areas, such as against the Colosseum and the Sydney Opera House.
For its part, SSU smacked the sign against the side of Darwin Hall, the science building nestled in the main quad of the school, just before the library. All in all, the event raised about $30 in donations, but, as Salinas said, the point was not to be a fundraiser, but to raise polio awareness and, he said, the club did a good job of doing just that.
Their mission is not yet over, said Salinas. Currently, Salinas and two other students, Sara Dinari and Anita Dunkel, are working with Video Bright Studios in Santa Rosa to make a movie to spread the word about polio prevention. Their movie, aptly named “No Mo Po,” will explore the Sonoma County area, interviewing parents and trying to educate them on the importance of immunizing their children against polio.
According to Salinas, Sonoma County has a record low rate of immunization. Though he said he is not certain, Salinas believes this may be because parents do not believe polio is a threat or believe that the vaccination has troubling side effects. Both are untrue, said Salinas, and he and his movie-making team hope to prove that with “No Mo Po,” which they’d like to rotate through doctors’ offices and schools by Thanksgiving.