Here is a copy of a letter written by The British Polio Fellowship’s CEO Ted Hill and distributed to various editors in response to a point that David Cameron made in the media last week that Britain has helped to ‘get rid’ of Polio.
I read with keen interest David Cameron’s recent comments* about the growing threat of so called ‘superbugs’ that are resistant to antibiotics. Mr Cameron spoke about the role that Britain played in the fight against Polio and called once again for British science to be at the forefront of developing new, lifesaving medicines.
Mr Cameron spoke about Britain’s role in ‘getting rid’ of Polio. It is true that medicines have helped to eradicate new cases of Polio in Britain, however it is misleading to say that we have ‘got rid’ of the disease and I would like to highlight this point to your readers. Polio still exists in a number of countries in the world and there have been recent scares with the Polio virus being found in water systems in Israel and Syria, to name but two. Complacency is not an option.
The British Polio Fellowship was established in 1939 and the effects of Polio are most definitely still with us – even in the UK. 120,000 people in the UK are still living with the effects of Polio and it is believed that 80% are now facing a whole new battle with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a devastating neurological condition that affects Polio survivors. For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call us on 0800 043 1935, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk.
Ted Hill MBE, CEO, The British Polio Fellowship