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Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine (J Rehabil Med 2011; Suppl 49: 1–64)
Initiated by the European Polio Union (EPU) and organized by the Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims (PTU), the 3-day Conference ‘Post Polio Syndrome – A Challenge of Today’ was held from 31 August to 2 September 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Post polio syndrome is a highly prevalent condition in the European Union (EU) with an estimated 1 million survivors of polio. Most of them were affected by acute polio during the epidemics in the 20th century before vaccination became
available. It was only in 2002 that Europe was officially declared free of polio by the World Health Organisation. The EU however also accommodates a large number of immigrants from all over the world who were affected by polio in their country of origin, and many of them are still young.
The EPU was founded in 2003 and at present consists of 19 polio patient organisations from 13 European countries and strives for better recognition of and care for the post-polio syndrome at the European level. The large variation in medical and rehabilitation care in Europe for polio survivors suffering from the late decline in functioning due to the post-polio syndrome was a major concern for EPU and the motive for this conference.
This conference is a historical achievement. For the first time polio survivors, health care providers and researchers are brought together on this topic from all over Europe. To boost awareness, knowledge and care for post polio syndrome, and to promote European cooperation and to stimulate cooperative research this meeting is being held. This supplement of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine contains all abstracts of the conference.
Frans Nollet, MD, PhD
Chair, Scientific Committee
Academic Medical Centre
Department of Rehabilitation
Amsterdam, The Netherlands