Rotary presidents, Nigel Dobson, left of Onchan, and Howard Callow, right, of Douglas with the Rotary jam to support the end polio campaign
The power of confectionary has been unleashed in the latest drive to eradicate polio.
The campaign to beat the incurable disease has been ongoing for more than 35 years, supported by Rotary clubs around the world along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now, established jam makers Wilkin and Sons of Tiptree in Essex, have donated 52,000 jars of plum (and a few greengage) jam to support the cause.
There is one jar for each Rotary Club member throughout Great Britain and Ireland, and the idea is the recipients will make a £2 donation per jar then use the empty jar as a collection receptacle.
Former Rotary Club of Douglas president Kevin Kneen, who is coordinating his Club's effort, said overall the scheme aimed to raise £3 million towards providing essential vaccinations for children in countries where the disease still poses a threat.
Because the jars were donated we are not allowed to sell them, he said.
But we can collect around £20 in change in each empty jar and that, with the £2 donated for each full jar, should make around £1 million. With double match funding promised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this should make £3 million.
The islands own batch of jam arrived recently and was officially handed over at the Liverpool Arms by Nigel Dobson of Onchan Rotary Club.
The money raised should fund more than 15 million polio vaccinations around the world.
Thanks to the campaign, which was launched in 1985, only three countries - Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan - are still affected by the disease and the plan is to immunise all children in those countries. In 1985, there were 1,000 cases of polio each year spread across 125 different countries. In 2016 there were just 37 cases.
Mr Kneen said: Although the figure for new cases in the last few years is amazingly low we cannot afford to stop vaccinating children against this disease.
The jam donation will help us stamp out this disease once and for all.
© Rotary News