Pictured are polio survivor and Wicklow County Councillor Miriam Murphy, with Niamh Murphy, Polio Survivors Ireland, are at the Arklow Municipal District Offices, on Thursday 11th July. The National Polio Register is rolling out to get a clearer picture of how many polio survivors are living in Wicklow, to help advocate for their future.
“The Polio Register is of huge benefit to those who aren’t accessing services that could be had by polio survivors if they need them,” says Councillor Murphy, herself a polio survivor. “When you get older it puts a different slant on things. They may not have suffered when they were young, but now… it is important that survivors understand what services are available to help them.”
It is believed that there are 7,000 polio survivors in Ireland, yet only 1,000 are members of the support charity. As they age, survivors can be impacted by Late Effects of Polio or Post Polio Syndrome. “It is great to have the Register,” Councillor Murphy says. “I would have been slow, even ten years ago to look at what supports I can get. It can be tough for people to come forward, having been so independent all their lives and to say, ‘I need help’. But if they sign the Register they are linked in and will know help is there if they need it.”
By registering polio survivors are helping to safeguard the future of all polio survivors, whether or not they are experiencing the Late Effects of Polio. With their help Polio Survivors Ireland can make sure that polio survivors have a stronger voice.