Hi fellow Bubblers,
you may be wondering why I have posted this community plea here on RedBubble – it’s to ask you to sign a petition that will be handed to Federal Parliamentary Members, in Canberra on 31st October. The reason it’s important is explained below.
By why you ask, is old Rhoufi posting this? Well you see that little boy in the photo above, all bandaged up in a Double Thomas Polio Splint – that little boy was me, between 1952 and 1955.
I was very lucky, and recovered use of most of my muscles and have led a fairly active life. Only now am I noticing the Late Effects of those damage muscles. I wasn’t going to ask you good folk to share this, but we aren’t getting the signatures we need to make impact on the politicians.
Australian polio survivors (over 40,000 we believe) will really appreciate it if you could spare just one minute to click that image above and be taken to the Polio Australia Petition Site where you can add your voice to those of all the other Australian polio survivors. We need to remind the Federal Government that “We’re Still Here” and as we age we need Australia’s help again, just like we did 60 years ago.
Thank you in advance,
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Before polio was eradicated in Australia after the Salk (1956) and Sabin (1966) vaccinations became available, Australian hospitals were inundated with polio cases and children in callipers were a common sight in schools. Those children grew up and today polio survivors represent the largest single physical disability group in the country.
Little do people know that those who contracted polio between the 1920’s and 1960’s are now experiencing the often debilitating Late Effects of Polio (LEOP) or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) as they head into their senior years. Together with migrants, including younger immigrants from more recently eradicated or still polio endemic countries, these Australians will require specific LEOP/PPS services for at least the next 20-30 years. Currently there is no federal funding for post polio services in Australia. Polio Australia also requires funding to continue providing support, information and education to polio survivors, health professionals and the community.
Research has shown that it can take up to six years for a polio survivor to be diagnosed correctly due to a lack of knowledge within the health sector. In the meantime, polio survivors will suffer with fatigue, muscle and joint pain, respiratory problems, and a range of other symptoms with little or no support to understand or manage their condition.
Polio survivors have been all but invisible in the community, as they have just got on with their lives. However, as they are increasingly in need of polio-specific support and services, they are shouting out that “We’re Still Here!”. It’s now time for all Australians to step up and make a difference by ending this silent suffering.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION and spread the word that “We’re Still Here!”
How the Petition Will be Delivered
October is Polio Awareness Month and on the 31st of October, the Polio Australia Team will head to Parliament House, Canberra, accompanied by polio survivors, their friends and families to personally deliver this petition to their local Members because “We’re Still Here!”.
For more information on the LEOP/PPS please visit Polio Australia
If you are a polio survivor, please support this campaign by adding your name to the Australian Polio Register