World Polio Day 2020 was an educational public relations project conducted as a joint online awareness programme by the University of Colombo clinical society & the Rotaract club of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. It was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colombo North. The project was completed on 24th of October 2020. The aim of the project was to provide a detailed and comprehensive picture on the current status of the disease “Polio”. For this purpose, many references were scoured and we compiled a series of articles related to key topics in a concise format. A person reading this miniseries would not only learn about the fight to eradicate polio, but would also learn about the medical aspect of the disease such as diagnosis and vaccination. We feel that knowing about these aspects empowers people to better protect themselves from this disease in ways such as getting vaccinated if they hadn’t already been.
The programme was done as a single day online campaign and a series of informative posters were created under the overall theme “Eradicating Polio; the final steps in a centuries long marathon” and the posters were created with regards to 8 key areas in the fight for worldwide polio eradication. The titles of the 8 posters were as follows,
- The Practice Points
- The Disease – Polio causes permanent paralysis
- The Vaccine – Sri Lanka is polio free since 1993
- The Diagnosis – Rapidly progressive asymmetrical acute flaccid paralysis heralds polio
- The Fight – Rotary international leads the fight against polio
- The People – 100 years of research into polio
- The Lessons – Defeating COVID-19
- The Endgame – Vaccinate every child to rid the world of polio
These posters were widely circulated on the Facebook pages of the Rotaract club of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo & University of Colombo Clinical society which have a following of 1482 & 2480 people respectively. These posters were also circulated on the RAC FOM official instagram page & as individual WhatsApp statuses through our member base as well. Messages were sent to all batches of the Faculty of Medicine Colombo regarding these Posters via the Rotaract membership portals. It must be further noted that the original posts were widely shared by members of both UCCS and RACFOM on the facebook platform.
The project was chaired and designed by Rtr.Raveen Wijayasinghe. The project was edited by Himal Jayathilake and Dimantha Bandara. The Rotaractors and the members of the University of Colombo Clinical Society were participated. Rtr. Thanuja Kotawalagedara, Rtr.Raveen Wijayasinghe, Rtr.Hansana Priyan, Rtr.Sandamini Liyanage, Rtr.Hiran Karunaratne, Rtr.Chathumi Dassanayake, Rtr.Sathsarani Thilakaratne, Rtr.Shanya Mudannayake, Rtr.Afrah Niyaz, Rtr.Sanduni Wijayaratne and Rtr.Minura Manchanayake were participated from the Rotaract club of Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Himal Jayathilake, Duvindu Wijesuriya, Thisura Wijewardana, Dimantha Bandara, Hansani Hegodagedara and Gayani Dahanayake were participated from the University of Colombo Clinical Society. The Medical students & general public of Sri Lanka were benefited.
Initial project planning was done by Himal Jayatilake and Duvindu Wijesuriya of the University of Colombo Clinical Society (UCCS) and the literature review was mainly done by Dimantha Bandara with Final storyline editing being done by Himal. The Poster template and Design was created by Rtr.Raveen Wijayasinghe. Collaboration between the UCCS and RACFOM was also done by Rtr.Raveen Wijayasinghe. The posters each carried the official logos of both societies.
Public Relations Plan was described by the online and offline (publications, on-ground etc.) PR efforts. PR work was carried out by Rtr.Raveen Wijayasinghe and Rtr.Afrah Niyaz. The posters were widely shared on the Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram social media platforms belonging to both RACFOM & UCCS. The PR liks were,
The outcomes of this project were raising awareness of the Polio disease among our students and the general public and creation of an online repository of valuable easy to access information with regards to the essentials one needs to know regarding Polio.