|Short news items with a Post-Polio element gleaned
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carried the following AFP report under the headline "Bradman hailed for
Australia's opposition leader Kim Beazley said on Monday that cricket
great Sir Donald Bradman, who died Sunday aged 92, helped cure him of
polio when he was a boy.
"Because his family had experienced something similar, he wrote to
my father with a set of exercises to assist me out of the problems associated
with that illness," Beazley told reporters.
"It was a long, long time ago. As I used to sit down scrunching up
towels between my toes. My mother would say to me: 'Well, Don Bradman
says you have got to do this so you better do it'. I can't say I liked
the exercises, but they were a help."
Beazley, 52, said Sir Donald's death would leave a gap for many Australians.
"It will be a sad week as all of us in this country contemplate the
passing of a person whose equivalent is unlikely to occur in our lifetime
or this century," he said.
"For many Australians the passing of Sir Donald Bradman will be like
a death in the family."
The full text of the article can be found at http://www.cricketline.com/news/news.html/cl/ENG?ref=11190
23rd February 2001
Polio Virus Eradication: Egypt appears close to wiping out scourge of
carried the following Reuters report by Abdalla Hassan from Cairo on February
Egypt's 17-year-old struggle to eradicate polio may soon be crowned
with success, with not a single case of the crippling virus reported
so far this year.
"We are now at the end of a polio era," Tarek Abdel-Rahman, a doctor
and project officer for the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) dealing with
immunisation, told Reuters this week.
"The quality of the campaigns has increased dramatically from 1998
onward," said Faten Kamel, medical officer for polio eradication at
the U.N. World Heath Organisation (WHO).
The World Summit for Children, held in New York in 1990, set the goal
of global polio elimination, but Kamel said there were still 20 countries
considered "reservoirs" for polio.
Until recently, Egypt was listed among them, but reported cases have
dwindled to three last year from nine in 1999 and 626 in 1991. No case
has come to light this year.
"We need three years from the last case reported to declare the eradication
of polio in Egypt," Abdel-Rahman said.
The Health and Population Ministry has waged a multi-layered war on
polio with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), WHO, UNICEF and the Rotary Club.
National immunisation vaccinates all children under four against polio.
The last round of the campaign vaccinated 7.2 million youngsters nation-wide,
Wild virus transmission is mainly confined to the south. Local immunisation
campaigns are triggered when health officials suspect its presence.
The poliomyelitis virus invades the central nervous system, spreads
along nerve fibres and destroys nerve cells, paralysing muscles in a
condition known as acute flaccid paralysis.
Doctors must immediately report cases of flaccid paralysis to the Health
Ministry, which will then vaccinate anywhere from 10,000 to one million
children around the suspected case.
Abdel-Rahman said routine immunisation coverage now exceeded 95 percent
in Egypt. Keeping the vaccine at the proper temperature is often a problem
when electricity outages are common, said Nagwa Farag, a UNICEF communication
Oral polio vaccine loses its potency at high temperatures, and must
be kept below eight degrees centigrade from when it leaves the manufacturer
until it reaches Egypt's 4,000 rural health clinics -- and the mouths
of young children.
The full text of the article can be found at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/
For Polio virus eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory
Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication
21st February 2001
Personal Medical Record Privacy to be Compromised by UK Government.
The government is currently examining new legislation called the Health
and Social Care Bill, which is expected to become law very soon (within
a few weeks). The Bill will undergo a first reading in the House of Lords
on February 26th, and is expected to reach committee stage around March
There is one clause in this Bill - clause 67 - which is causing great
concern amongst healthcare professional and patient representative groups
alike, the consensus being that it should be removed before the Bill becomes
Clause 67 is a fragment of the Health and Social Care Bill, which, if
it became law, would grant the Secretary of State for Health unprecedented
powers of control over the private health records of ordinary people.
Why is that a problem? Those powers would allow the Secretary of State
to make personal medical records available to others, even if the patient
had expressly said that they did not want that to happen!
Not only that, but the Clause would give the Health Secretary the power
to pick and choose - entirely at his discretion - which organisations
and companies could gain access to that private information. It would
put all these decisions in the hands of a single individual - the Health
In summary, it would appear that clause 67 gives total control of identifiable
and anonymised data to the Secretary of State, who can decide
who has access to any identifiable patient data (patient notes,
paper or electronic, X-rays, tissue samples, genetic data, clinic attendances,
etc). They can be passed without consent and over-riding
any legal or professional duty of confidentiality on to whichever
organisation or individual the secretary of State chooses, see cl 67 (3),
a) in the interests of improving patient care b) in the public interest.
A web site has been set up as an information resource on Clause 67, the
above text, as a matter of expediency, being in the main adapted from
the site's opening paragraphs. See http://www.gorjuss.com/medicalprivacy/
11th February 2001
Health On the Net Foundation (HON) February-March 2001 Survey.
Invitation to Participate
From HON Survey Background:
The Internet and on-line services, especially in the health and medical
domains, were unknown to people outside of education and research circles
until just a few years ago. Today, everyone has heard about the Internet
and the number of users has exploded. The question "Who is using it,
and for what?" is almost as old as the Web itself. One of the first
to use the Web as a survey medium and to try to answer this question
were the GVU's WWW User Surveys, the first of which was conducted
in January, 1994. To monitor users needs on a regular basis, the Health
On the Net Foundation (HON) started conducting regular surveys of its
own Web site traffic in early 1997. You can consult the
methodology of our surveys for futher details. We sincerely thank
the many thousands of respondents and all contributing parties who have
helped us to develop HON surveys into the authoritative Internet service
they are today. HON continually seeks contributions from commercial
and non-commercial organisations to support current and future surveys.
HON are interested in the views of medical professionals and
patients. If you wish to participate, please go to the following URL:
All the results are freely available online and your participation allows
HON and other organizations to improve the services, which we offer by
developing our understanding of the users of the medical 'net.
Polio Survivors in the News: Polio
Survivor sues City of New York.
The following article by Devlin Barrett appeared in nypost.com (http://www.nypost.com/ under
the headline "Polio Victim Sues City In Cop 'Mock'" on Thursday, February
A Bronx man suffering from polio sued the city yesterday - saying a
cop wrongly arrested him and then mocked the crippling effects of his
Wilfredo Rivera, 38, says cops stopped him when he entered the subway
station at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue last February with his home
Rivera had used his Access-a-Ride card - issued to the disabled by
the MTA - to open a gate and wheel through with the aide, who did not
pay her fare.
Officer Raymond Suarez ticketed the health aide for fare-beating, prompting
a protest from Rivera, who argues in court papers that aides do not
have to pay a fare when escorting people on the subway.
Under MTA rules, Access-a-Ride cards specify whether the user can bring
along a health aide without the fare. Rivera's suit does not say if
his card allowed for such an escort.
But the polio-stricken man says Suarez "proceeded to curse [Rivera]
and mock" his slurred speech - a symptom of the disease - when Rivera
began disputing the ticket.
Rivera became upset, "causing his body to move in a spastic and uncontrollable
manner," the lawsuit says.
The spasms then moved his wheelchair, making his knee "lightly bump"
into Suarez, who "reached for his gun but did not draw it," the suit
Rivera was charged with assault and arrested - charges that were later
dropped by the Manhattan DA's office.
"They must have panicked because of some sort of ignorance of the scenario,"
said Rivera's lawyer, Bruce Menken. "The most outrageous thing is the
officers claimed they were injured because they had to make an assault
charge against my client.
"If the jury gets to look at Mr. Rivera, they will see right away it
is impossible for him to injure anyone," said Menken.
The lawyer says the cops also claimed Rivera, whose first language
is Spanish, cursed them in English. Menken said this is preposterous
because even he has a hard time understanding his client. "He has a
major, major speech impediment," said Menken.
Other officers grabbed the chair and broke it while transporting Rivera
to be fingerprinted, the lawsuit charges.
Rivera's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks $10 million
from the city.
A police spokesman said the NYPD does not comment on pending litigation.
The full text of the article can be found at http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/21530.htm
Polio Survivors in the News: Hager
will ''keep on truckin' '' for governor bid.
carried the following Associated Press report by Bob Lewis from Richmond
on February 1, 2001:
Annoyed by Republican pressure to retreat from the party's gubernatorial
nomination battle, Lt. Gov. John H. Hager killed speculation Wednesday
that he would drop out and concede the ticket to Attorney General Mark
"The message that I'd like to send out about our campaign for governor
is this: We're going to keep on truckin'," Hager said.
Attention had been focused on Hager since Monday, when Gov. Jim Gilmore
acknowledged efforts to broker a deal that would avert a possibly divisive
fight between Earley and Hager leading to the party's June 1-2 state
The party's deadline for candidates to lock-in to specific races is
5 p.m. Thursday. After that, neither Earley nor Hager will be able to
drop out of the governor's race and seek re-election.
Gilmore, the new Republican National Committee chairman, restated his
desire Wednesday that one of the candidates withdraw from the top race,
ending an already fractious intraparty contest. Both men could then
seek spots on the GOP's November ticket -- one running for governor,
one seeking re-election.
"I would love to find a way to present a unified ticket this fall,"
"The Democrats are running a multimillionaire. He has a lot of money
but he's not very long on government experience."
Northern Virginia telecommunications tycoon Mark R. Warner is thus
far unchallenged in the June 12 Democratic primary.
Gilmore said he offered neither Earley nor Hager inducements to back
off, and he has not publicly stated a preference that one or the other
step aside. Gilmore is barred by the state constitution from seeking
Earley's campaign had no immediate comment about Hager's decision.
A spokeswoman for the governor said Gilmore planned no statement on
Hager's announcement, either.
Hager, 64, said people have underestimated him since polio confined
him to a wheelchair 25 years ago, and that those pressuring him to abandon
his race were making the same mistake now.
The full text of the article, of which the above paragraphs are an extract,
can be found at http://www.pilotonline.com/news/nw0201hag.html
NewsBites 24th June 2000: 1st of
3 candidates to officially announce Lt. Gov. makes bid for office formal.
NewsBites 6th November 1997: USA - "Polio"
in Chair Wins VA Lt. Gov. Election.
Notification of the above news items was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/
1st February 2001
Polio Virus Eradication: Polio eradication award for Harshwardhan.
The India Times (http://www.indiatimes.com/)
reported from New Delhi:
Former Delhi health minister Dr Harshwardhan has been given the 'polio
eradication champion' award. The Prime Minister conferred this award
on him on Tuesday. He lauded his efforts for eradicating the dreaded
disease and said that people involved in polio eradication programme
should work in such a way that they get good results.
While receiving the award, Dr Harshwardhan said it was the joint effort
of thousands of people from across the country that made this programme
a success and made polio-free India a reality. They included government
officials, doctors, even school children also contributed in polio eradication
He added that if all went well, by 2005, polio would be completely
uprooted from the country.
The 'polio eradication champion' award was started in 1995 by the Rotary
International to encourage people who are involved in the polio eradication
drive and have done exemplary work, said Sudarshan Agarwal, member,
Human Rights Commission. He also informed that it was quite a prestigious
award and earlier, Bill Clinton and former prime Minister of Britain
John Major had also received this award.
The full text of the article can be found at http://www.indiatimes.com/nbtit/01indi5.htm
For Polio virus eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory
Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication