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These web pages are the archives of meetings of the
Polio NZ Waikato Support Group
from 2001 to 2016
There will be no new posts from November 2016
For up-to-date info, please check the Polio NZ website or facebook page
WAIKATO WELLBEING SHOW 2016
April 8, 9, and 10 the Waikato Support Group had a stand at the Waikato
Show in the Wellbeing section. 7 of our members manned the stand on a
roster, and we gave out over 1000 fliers to some of the 15,800 people
who streamed past. Several Polios who didn't know about Polio NZ were
discovered and will be followed up.
Thank You Dr Salk - Polio Vaccine Hero
60 year anniversary of the Salk Vaccine. 1955 - 2015
newspaper headlines read: “Salk’s Vaccine Works, Polio Routed! Vaccine
Triumph Ends Polio Threat.“ The first official public announcement that
the polio vaccine was “safe, effective and potent” was made on the 12th
of April 1955 in America. Can we imagine the rapturous joy, excitement
and pure relief that one of the most crippling and terrifying diseases
could now be conquered? Radio, TV, newspapers, public address systems
in schools, factories and work-places, and ringing church bells shouted
out across the nation that the Salk vaccine was successful. Huge crowds
went wild as they gathered in the streets and around wireless sets to
absorb this historic announcement. That day was also appropriately the
10th anniversary of the death of America’s polio president F D
In just the two years before the vaccine, polio cases in the US
numbered more than 45,000, but by 1962 the number was down to 910, and
in 1994 USA was declared polio free.
Here in New Zealand the records of how many contracted polio are not so
clear or accurate. Between 1915 and the last polio epidemic in 1961 an
estimated 10,000 people were registered, however many others went
unreported. The first batch of Salk polio vaccines arrived here in
April 1956. A small group of 8-9 year old school children were the
first to be immunised. In 2000 New Zealand was declared polio free and
this once-feared, dreaded disease has almost disappeared from our
national psyche, thanks to Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin.
The cultural and social impact of preventing regular epidemics of polio
was enormous. The fear of wondering which child would be next to
succumb to infantile paralysis, was lifted. Citizens could once again
gather freely at churches, movie theatres, swimming pools, sports
events and schools without wondering if there were any contagious
carriers of the polio virus amongst them. This was the vaccine everyone
The development of the
polio vaccine by Jonas Salk and his team of researchers is one of the
greatest medical breakthroughs in modern times, in my opinion. I
contracted polio at the age of six months in 1945 (ten years before the
vaccine) and continue to live with the after effects of a lifetime of
polio damage to my body. Apart from the obvious physical effects,
the emotional harm of isolation, hospitalisation, rejection and the
super human effort of trying to live a so-called “normal” life with
polio have left their marks too. Yet when I look at my family and hug
my grandsons, one named Jonas, what else can I say but “Thank you Jonas
Salk. My family need never be touched by polio.”
In this modern era, there
is absolutely no reason for anyone to be infected with the polio virus.
It is so important to keep vaccination levels up in New Zealand because
low levels could mean that a polio epidemic could be only a plane ride
away. Total global eradication of polio is a continuing pursuit by
Rotary, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health
Organisation. Access to war torn countries is slowing down the efforts
of these and other groups desiring to protect the most vulnerable in
the population: children.
Jonas Salk never patented
his polio vaccine, saying “There is no patent. Could you patent the
sun?” And he also said “hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the
courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality”.
Thank you Dr Jonas Salk that your dreams of a polio vaccine became a reality.
Waikato Polio Support Group ice cream party
Saturday 28 February
could be nicer than an ice-cream party on a hot Summer’s day? Nothing
it seemed when 20 members of the Polio NZ - Waikato Support Group met
for their February meeting. The speaker was Michelle Tanner, Rotarian
Polio Co-Chair, IMAC Educator, and recently returned from several weeks
in Pakistan teaching about immunisation and “hands on” doing
immunisation. Her lively presentation kept us alert and interested and
good questions were asked.
A variety of flavours and topping on the ice-cream were enjoyed under the shady trees in our (Noel and Edith’s) back yard.
And you can hear Michelle’s talk on-line, although there is some background noise on the recording:
inducted into the Attitude Hall of Fame
was honoured as one of the pioneers of the Disability Sector by being
inducted into the Attitude Hall of Fame at the Attitude Awards
Ceremony which was then broadcast on Sunday 7 December. We join with
them by adding our congratulations. Watch video here....
– article from GOOD
a look at Polio's history, epidemics, Post Polio Syndrome, and
vaccination then and now. The section on PPS is
from an interview with Edith Morris, former President of Polio NZ. Download PDF here
World Polio Day 2014
mark World Polio Day, Edith Morris, former president of Polio NZ Inc,
travelled to the central North Island town of Matamata (aka Hobbiton).
She shared her polio experiences at the local Rotary Club dinner on
October 21, and encouraged them in the continued global eradication of
HAVE YOU HAD POLIO
-or someone you know?
course there have been no recent cases of polio in New Zealand. But
many of those who did get polio prior to about 1956 are still around.
they reach their 50s - 60s they often experience new pains and
weaknesses above the normal ageing process. This is known as Post Polio
Syndrome or the Late Effects of Polio.
At this stage it is
important that this condition is recognised and treated to avoid
further serious deterioration. Some forms of exercise and some drugs
can be counter-productive.
Please get in touch with the Post Polio Support Society 0800 476 546, and read some of the information on this
and associated web sites here.
suspecting Post-Polio Syndrome and Late Effects of Polio