An outbreak of Polio has now been officially declared in Papua New Guinea, with a six-year-old boy being the first confirmed case in eighteen years. After further investigation, it was discovered two other children in the boy’s community had the virus. It is very unfortunate Papua New Guinea is following in the footsteps of Kenya, where a new case of Polio was confirmed recently.
Although a setback in the mission to see the global eradication of Polio, this news should spur us to greater efforts as Polio always tried to find a way to come back. The World Health Organisation has taken the lead in Papa New Guinea, working closely with government officials to vaccinate as many children as possible. Health workers were deployed as soon as the first cases was confirmed.
The longer it takes to eradicate Polio, the more cases of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) we will see in the future and as The British Polio Fellowship prepares to mark 80 years in January 2019, we still hope that the next six months will deliver the positive news on eradication we have all waited so long to hear. We continue to support those who had Polio and the 120,000 in the UK who now live with PPS. If you need our support, call us now on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship