The ‘Next Generation’ Polio Survivors includes any polio survivor, living in Australia, born from 1975 onwards.

Polio Australia is committed to standardising quality polio information and services across Australia for polio survivors. Polio Australia estimates that there are 400,000 polio survivors living in Australia who are now experiencing the Late Effects of Polio (LEoP). Most are now ageing as they contracted polio during the western-world epidemics of the first half of the 20th century. Polio Australia commenced 10 years ago to provide a national focus, and represents the state-based Polio Networks, which were all established in Australia in the late 1980’s. As such, most of the information on the LEoP has been developed with older Australian or European polio survivors in mind.

However, Australia has also become home to younger, migrant polio survivors. We have found that younger polio survivors are currently not connecting with either Polio Australia or the state Polio Networks, so are not accessing our information on the LEoP, and how best to manage the condition into the future. Polio Australia is committed to supporting younger polio survivors, and are eager to build a community of ‘Next Generation’ Polio Survivors.

Resources

If you are a polio survivor, living in Australia, born 1975 onwards, we recommend doing the following things:

1. Complete our questionnaire – this helps us determine appropriate strategies to help you
2. Add your name to the Australian Polio Register – this helps us to gather information on the number of polio survivors living in Australia today.
3. Like our Facebook Page – to stay up-to-date
4. Join our ‘Next Generation’ Polio Survivors Facebook Group – to connect with other people like yourself

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Focus Group

On 12th July 2018, Polio Australia formed it’s first ‘Next Generation’ Focus Group. The group consisted of Chris (NSW), Kim (SA), Rakesh (NSW), Vilas (NSW) and Viren (QLD). The aim of the focus group is to determine what type and in which format Polio Australia can provide support and resources to this cohort.


Viren, Queensland


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"I am Viren Shekhawat; I was born in 1976, India. I contracted polio when I was approx. One-year-old living in the countryside at that time. I did complete my Graduation in commerce before I left for Australia in 1998.

I came for my further study and did Diploma of Travel & tourism and Bachelor of Business from Melbourne. I worked at various places while I was studying and living in Melbourne. i.e., I have worked at Crown casino, NAB, etc. I moved to Brisbane in 2006 and worked with NAB for few years and now I am self employed as a Registered Migration Agent.

I got married in 2005 and had one daughter. I enjoy playing Cricket, Chess & Billiards as a game and travelling around the world and learning about life is one of my favourite hobbies.

As I am getting old, I am struggling a bit with my physical, and my good leg gets tired very quickly as I put my 70 % weight on my good foot and use it more than my Polio leg.

I want to know the latest technology and treatment to improve my condition as well as what kind of help I can get from the NDIS or other health providers."

Vilas, New South Wales


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"My name is Vilas Raju Mehabubani. I was born in India in Mumbai. I was born in 1982. I have a small family, comprising my Mother, elder sister and a younger brother. All of them currently live in India although they have all visited Sydney. My father died when I was very young and so we were brought up by my mother.

I contracted Polio (right leg) when I was only a few years old. Around the same time, I was also involved in an incident (burns to the right side of my body by acid) which had a big impact on my health (near life and death situation). Polio had a significant impact on my life and health. It impacted me through difficulty in walking, participating in sports and social life.

On the contrary, because of Polio, I had the opportunity (co-incidentally) to visit Sydney Australia in December 2013 for the first time. Thereafter, I had several opportunities that led to me calling that country my home. Today, me and my family (wife and 2 year old son) are permanent residents of Australia.

I have been working In an educational institution called ICMS since 2010. I have held various positions in this institution and presently I work with the student services team as Reception Centre Manager.

I am fond of water sports and my hobby is swimming.

Since I became a resident opportunities have opened up for me in terms of Polio. I was able to apply for NDIS which was approved in June 2018. My current plan includes various goals based on my current health condition. One of the main goals includes physiotherapy for my upper body in order to build strength in my right leg and back bone and improve body posture. This has come at a good time as I was going through a lot of back pains due to being unable to afford any physio and lack of exercise. But now I don’t have to bear this (fingers crossed). I will be happy to share this information with the focus group."

Rakesh, New South Wales


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"I am Rakeshkumar Sanghvi, born in 1976 in Mumbai, India. I alongwith my wife (Anita) and 2 sons (Jash & Love) migrated to this beautiful country Australia in April 2015 and we currently live in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant from India. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Australia in 2016. I work as a Financial Controller in a construction company and also have my accounting and tax firm.

I contracted Polio on my left limb in 1977. Initial years I was not able to stand on my feet and used to crawl. With grace of god and hard work of my parents and grandparents, they made me strong enough to overlook my disability and concentrate on my strengths. I can walk with a little limp and most of the time, no one notices my limp. I like to play cricket, snooker, badminton, horse riding, travelling, social networking, making friends. I also like to watch movies and listening to music.

Due to the shortness of my left limb, the body weight is unbalanced and most of the times rest on the right limb. Certain days are really tough as the pain in the good leg and knee becomes severe. At times, I am even scared of climbing the stairs as the pain in the knee suddenly appears and becomes unbearable.

I understand that going forward, the knee pain would only worsen and am trying to get solutions on how to control / reduce the pain. I would like to understand what are the policies and eligibility criteria in getting enrolled into NDIS. I would like to thank Polio Australia in taking such an initiative."

Where to from here?

We strongly encourage you to engage in our Polio Australia community and help us to understand how we can assist you – we are in the process of developing new resources specifically for the “Next Generation” polio survivors.