— PRESS RELEASE —
Today, Friday 24 October, is World Polio Day. Dr John Tierney PhD OAM, Polio Australia’s President, has made the following statement to remind the Australian Government that ‘We’re Still here’ and need federal support now.
“Today on World Polio Day, we remember those 4,000 Australians who died from polio in the last century. We also recognise the 400,000 Australians who survived, but have been crippled in varying degrees by this terrible disease. Australian Polio survivors have been left out of the NDIS, because they will be over 65 when it is introduced. To add insult to injury, polio survivors have never received any special support from the Federal government. On the 29th October we will be in Federal parliament with our mantra “We’re Still Here” to let them know that the legacy of polio lives on”. Dr John Tierney PhD OAM, President, Polio Australia.
On 29th October, polio survivors will converge on Parliament in Canberra to remind the Australian Government that the legacy of polio is still a very real, daily chronic concern for 400,000 Australians. The “We’re Still Here!” campaign highlights that the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) shuts out Australia’s single largest physical disability group – the survivors of Australia’s polio epidemics.
Polio Australia is the primary source of support for those who were affected by poliomyelitis in the epidemics of the last century. Despite a complete lack of funding from the federal government, and operating solely on the goodwill and generosity of private donations and philanthropic project grants, Polio Australia continues to proactively and progressively support and represent Australians who are now ageing with the Late Effects of Polio (LEoP) and its subset Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS).
Throughout October, Polio Australia will be conducting a range of awareness activities culminating in the nationwide launch at Parliament House of a new clinical practice resource for GP’s and allied health professionals titled “The Late Effects Of Polio: Managing Muscles And Mobility”, plus a “Polio Timeline” which reflects on how “The legacy lives on” and reinforcing the need for post-polio health services that are urgently required through Australian Government funding. Further information about LEoP/PPS, and Polio Awareness Month can be found at www.polioaustralia.org.au and www.stillhere.org.au.