KEIGHLEY people are being urged to back the battle against polio.

Rotarians will be collecting at the town’s Picture House next month, when there will also be a special screening of a film about the charitable organisation’s long-time efforts to help beat the disease.

Rotary has been working with partners including the World Health Organisation and the Gates Foundation – as well as many governments – for more than 30 years, to eradicate polio.

Huge advances have been made.

In the 1980s, there were around 1,000 new cases of polio globally every day.

Since then hundreds of millions of children have been immunised and in the whole of last year, there were just 22 fresh cases.

Now Keighley Rotary Club is supporting a major push to “finish the job” and completely wipe out the disease.

On April 15, when Keighley Film Club screens Breathe at the Picture House in North Street, there will also be a short film – Rotary on the Brink of Polio History – featuring Ade Adepitan and Konnie Huq.

And a retiring collection will be taken for End Polio Now.

“The film club has kindly agreed to allow us to ‘piggy back’ on its screening of Breathe and we are extremely grateful,” said a Keighley Rotary Club spokesman.

“We would love people to come along and join us.

“This is not just an opportunity to see the acclaimed Breathe, but the film club has enthusiastically agreed to show the very short Rotary film.”

Doors open at 5.35pm and the film starts at 6pm. Admission is £6.50 for adults, or £5.50 for seniors.

Rotary says despite all that has been achieved in the battle against polio, the disease remains a threat.

“Most people in Britain have no direct experience of polio,” added the spokesman.

“Older people will remember the scares of the 1950s and our parents worrying about us, at least until the vaccine became available.

“But to the generations since then, polio is a part of history and doesn’t feel like a threat.

“However, polio is very contagious and still exists in the world.

“We cannot afford to be complacent.

“Wild polio is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan and we are on the brink of eliminating it from there and thus, from the whole world.

“We are so close. But while there is even a single case, there is still a risk of it spreading.

“The final stages of this long campaign will be difficult and costly, but we must finish the job if we are to ensure that polio is truly eradicated.

“And the people of Keighley can help!”