These workshops which discuss the diagnosis and management of the late effects of polio were driven by best-practice research emerging from Europe and the USA. Following a successful pilot program in Victoria in 2014, a series of clinical practice workshops was offered by Polio Australia in 2015/2016 in Sydney’s northern region. These workshops discussed the diagnosis and management of the late effects of polio and were designed and facilitated by physiotherapists experienced in working with the post-polio body. Polio Australia was very pleased to have partnered with Rotary District 9685 to bring these workshops to allied health professionals wishing to learn more about management of the late effects of polio. Over the workshop series, 140 health professionals expanded their clinical knowledge and professional skills at the interactive sessions.

This short video (2 mins 59 secs) gives a taste of the value of these Workshops.

We hear it said, “Polio! Wasn’t that eradicated last century?”. But, decades after the original poliomyelitis virus epidemics in Australia, the late effects of this terrible disease are now becoming evident in our ageing polio population and within the worldwide health community.

In coming years, its effects will become more understood and better treated as polio survivors around the world age, and begin to experience the Late Effects of Polio (LEoP) and Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). Australia is at the forefront of raising awareness amongst health professionals of the best assessment and care methods for clients now living the second chapter of the poliomyelitis story for our polio survivors, and for those who are still contracting the disease in the global community.

Whilst there are many cross-overs in the treatment and management of other chronic diseases and the management of LEoP, there are also some very significant differences. If LEoP is not identified, the client can experience rapidly worsening symptoms due to inadvertently incorrect care.

Through its professional development workshops Polio Australia aims to build a complement of skilled and knowledgeable ‘polio’ practitioners across many different modalities around Australia to further increase awareness and standardise care provision for polio survivors.

To help with our future planning, if you are interested in attending a workshop in your area please get in touch with Polio Australia.