The British Polio Fellowship says new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the charity reveals that, after being told that around 120,000 people in the UK who have Polio are now suffering from Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS), almost four out of five Brits (79%) were surprised at this number of people. According to the charity, this is holding back the British Polio survivors’ community, and preventing the charity benefiting from the type of support that those representing other better known neurological conditions receive from the public.
PPS increases weakness, fatigue and pain in those who have had Polio, and is believed to affect an estimated 120,000 people in the UK alone – a figure similar to those suffering from Parkinson’s or Motor neurone disease.
Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship says the fact that 79 per cent of people from the YouGov survey were surprised at the number of people living with PPS in the UK reveals how much more exposure and awareness the condition deserves to receive.
“The results from this research confirm that much more needs to be done to raise awareness of PPS,” said Ted. “It was disappointing to read that so few people realised how many people are affected by PPS, so our challenge is clear now – to raise awareness and get the condition exposed to the general public more. The fact that 120,000 people in the UK live with PPS and the late effects of Polio should be better known, given the large number of sufferers.”
As a charity which helps and supports those in the UK living with the late effects of Polio and PPS, The British Polio Fellowship held its annual PPS Day this year at one of the main political hubs in Britain, The Welsh Assembly, something which Ted says provided the perfect opportunity for the message and awareness of PPS to be spread. “PPS Day is always an important date in the diary for The British Polio Fellowship and the campaigning of PPS in general,” said Ted. “But this year’s event was especially poignant because of these new findings. This is the perfect time for people to realise what PPS is and how they can help,” concluded Ted.