Polio victim backs Government push to eradicate disease

Valerie Brewster
Valerie Brewster

A polio survivor from Filey has spoken out after the UK Government announced that Britain will lead a final push to rid the world of the disease.

Valerie Brewster, who was eight when she contracted polio during the 1952 epidemic in Leeds, said: “It’s a happy day for a lot of people.

“It’s absolutely great and unbelievable that the UK Government should recognise how much this support is needed.

“Often, Polio is seen by the western world as something that happens elsewhere and people don’t realise that many, many people in the UK alone – 120,000 – are still alive having contracted Polio as a child, most of whom are suffering from post-Polio syndrome.”

The UK Government’s push will see 45 million children immunised against the disease each year until 2020. It is likely that the last new case of polio will be diagnosed this year, paving the way for the world to be certified polio-free in 2020.

Valerie added: “I’m a philosophical person, there’s no point being angry about my situation. Polio was there, we didn’t have the education whereas we do now.”