Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Rotary Club of May Pen plays part to prevent polio

Published:Thursday | October 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Polio survivor Alexander Brown sharing his testimony, standing beside him is Steve Lindo, International Services Director for the club.

The Rotary Club of May Pen marked World Polio Day on October 24 by reaching out to patients at the May Pen Health Centre to educate them about the disease.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Therefore, the disease can be prevented through immunisation.

To get the message out, Rotary May Pen had polio survivor Alexander Brown, who had polio since birth, share his story of survival. He said that had he received his polio vaccine much of the disease's effect on him could have been prevented. Instead, he underwent about eight operations and spent six years at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre.

Brown appealed to the mothers at the clinic to not make that kind of mistake with their children.

"I am telling you mothers, please get your children vaccinated, because an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure," he advised, while pointing to the countless number of children and adults who cannot walk because of the impact of polio.

Brown also shared how he was rejected by other students who called him all sort of hurtful names, but, thankfully, his grandmother instilled confidence in him and he was able to rise above it all.

The Rotary International established World Polio Day a decade ago. The organisation promotes the use of the inactivated polio virus vaccine, as it has reduced polio worldwide by 99 per cent. The strategy to eradicate polio is based on preventing infection by immunising every child until transmission stops and the world becomes polio-free.