Polio NZ Inc is an Incorporated Society dedicated to supporting people who have had poliomyelitis. The society seeks to provide information relating to various aspects of polio and its late effects, it looks for collaborative relationships with organisations and professionals with like interests, it advocates for the betterment of New Zealanders who had polio and works to improve or develop services and opportunities that would be of assistance.

Polio NZ Inc also administers funds donated by the Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan Trust for the express purposes of providing assistance to those contending with polio and its late effects. The Society’s Board of Management meets regularly either physically or by telephone conference, and the annual general meeting of members is held in October.

The Society’s Newsletter Polio News, is published 3 times a year and is sent to all members either by post or by email (optional).

Aims

The aim of Polio NZ Inc is to provide support for those who have had polio, and in particular:

  • To collect and distribute information that will enable members to understand and moderate the changes occurring in their conditions;
  • To inform medical practitioners of the reality of the late effects of polio and help update them on advances in research and treatment;
  • To work towards the establishment of assessment and treatment clinics for polio survivors and the establishment of at least one centre of excellence in New Zealand for the study and treatment of the late effects of neuro-muscular disability including polio.
  • To encourage a level of immunisation that leads to the eradication of poliomyelitis world-wide.

Polio Immunisation Statement

The risk of polio epidemics re-occurring in New Zealand increases if immunisation uptake within the population is below optimal levels.  Polio NZ Inc. supports Ministry of Health requirements on District Health Boards to be actively pursuing immunisation levels well into 90%+ of the population.  Are all your family members immunised?   The only protection from polio and its potential to paralyses is immunisation and vaccinations are free.

Polio NZ Inc endorses current immunisation campaigns to protect the population against outbreaks of polio.

Board of Management 2017/2018

Patron: David and Vicki Duncan
President: Barry Holland
Vice President: Sue Griffin
Secretary: Jeannette Aldridge
Treasurer: Jeannette Aldridge
Election of Board of Management: Brian Robinson (Nelson); Susan Kerr (Blenheim); Brent von Sierakowski; Steve Griffiths, Marlayna Zucchiatti (Doreen McCoard until May 2018)
Nancy Blackstock is Chair of the Duncan Fund Committee.

ACTION PLAN
The focus of this Board is an Action Plan based on Strategic Priorities developed from the memberships input at the 2014 Conference in Christchurch. The Polio NZ Board is excited about implementing the strategic plan and looks forward to working with the wider membership to improve the lives of all polio survivors in New Zealand.

The program is divided into four areas:

  • Support for all people in New Zealand who have survived polio
  • Health service provision
  • Education
  • Capacity building

SUPPORT
The board will continue to support all members through the publication of Polio NZ News as well as the ‘Polio New Zealand’ Facebook page for internet-savvy polio survivors, family and friends.

NATIONAL REGISTER
A register of polio survivors is being created in addition to our membership base so that we can get a better idea of how many there are in New Zealand today. Having greater accuracy of numbers will assist the Board greatly when advocating for improved services.

MIND, BODY & SOUL RETREAT
Our first retreat was held in Hamilton 6-9 August 2015. The second retreat was held at QE Health in Rotorua 121-13th August 2016. The third retreat will also bwase held at QE Health Rotorua on 6-8th October 2017. The 2018 retreat will be held 5-7 Oct. For more details please contact secretary@polio.org.nz as soon as possible.

Orthotic-Polio-NZ

Orthotic Services

Orthotics were a concern for many at the 2014 conference. Work has been undertaken with the Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute of Chicago to develop a survey on orthotics issues and needs of all our members. This was piloted with Christchurch members of Polio NZ and then sent to 575 polio survivors, replies being received from 253 people, 128 of who use orthotic services and 125 who did not. The results show the provision of orthotic services to polio survivors could be improved in a number of areas. Recommendations for improvement include better assessment of service, a constructive dialogue between DHBs, orthotic providers and Polio NZ and representation to the Ministry of Health for the better provision of orthotic services through policy innovation and funding to DHBs. The Orthotic Users Survey of Members 2016 can be found here.