Continue to help polio survivors
WEDNESDAY, October 22 was PPS Day, a day organised by The British Polio Fellowship to raise awareness about Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) and the threat that it poses to 80 per cent of Britain’s 120,000 polio survivors.
I am writing to ask your readers to support calls for a new national strategy to deal with PPS to be developed.
At present, we are woefully
ill-prepared to cope with a health problem that affects about the same number of people as Parkinson’s disease.
Polio has profoundly affected the lives of some 120,000 people in the UK. Many have led lives with wasted limbs, paralysis and severe mobility issues as a result of the disease and yet few are aware of the devastation it causes.
Now a newly recognised neurological condition, known as Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), is rearing its head and is likely to make life a whole lot harder for people who have already endured a great deal.
PPS affects polio survivors decades after they caught the disease, by making muscles weaker and more painful and making movement extremely difficult.
Awareness about PPS within the medical profession is pitifully low. In a recent survey, 69 per cent of GPs said they would not feel confident diagnosing the condition, giving me real concern that people with PPS may not get the treatment they need and are entitled to.
This situation must be changed. Greater awareness among GPs and other medical professionals is needed to ensure that polio survivors, who have already been through so much, do not face PPS alone.
The British Polio Fellowship does a sterling job in supporting the polio survivor community, and I urge people to explore its work at www.britishpolio.org.uk and offer their help where possible.
MP ANDY LOVE