Apr 6, 2012

A survivor of polio works to eradicate the disease for Nigeria's future generations


In Nigeria, the Polio Free Torch campaign aims to make the country polio-free



By Tommi Laulajainen
© UNICEF Nigeria/2012/Laulajainen
Women have brought their children to be immunized during the Polio Free Torch campaign launch in Maiduguri, Nigeria.


MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 5 April 2012 – “I want to call on our brothers and sisters… to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue,” announced Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State, at the state launch of the Polio Free Torch campaign in the city of Maiduguri.
Borno State has lately been the site of ongoing violence. In August, 2011, an armed group bombed the United Nations House in Abuja, killing 22 people, and Maiduguri continues to witness attacks against police and government officials on a weekly basis.
Conflict can weaken public health systems, but Mr. Shettima is determined to make his state polio-free in spite of the security situation. “I believe where there is a will, there is a way,” he said.
The Polio Free Torch campaign – launched nationally by the Vice President of Nigeria in September 2011 – aims to help achieve the global goal of eradicating polio by the end of 2012.

A survivor of polio works to eradicate the disease for Nigeria's future generations

By Chris Morgan
KANO, Nigeria, 4 August 2011 – Aminu Ahmad sits on the side of the road intently watching his young apprentice weld a wheelchair. “This is our workshop and 80 per cent of the people here have disabilities, but we are working hard, just like anybody else,” he explains.
VIDEO: UNICEF's Chris Morgan reports on community efforts to eradicate polio in Kano State, Nigeria, as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Watch in RealPlayer
As a child, Mr. Ahmad was stricken by polio, a preventable disease that once affected millions of children each year. “I asked my mother why I was disabled, and she told me I was not immunized’” he says.
Mr. Ahmad trains and employs young people affected by polio, and the best-selling product from his workshop is an innovative wheel chair. But his real aim is to protect future generations from the disease.
House-to-house effort
As Chairman of the Kano Polio Victims Association, Mr. Ahmad is involved in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF.
UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video
Men who were stricken with polio and suffered paralysis in their youth gather together in Nigeria's Kano State.
The initiative has helped to reduce new infections by 99 per cent since 1988. Now polio is endemic in just four countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.
To completely eradicate the disease, every child needs to be reached. However, in some areas – such as Mr. Ahmad community of Danlassa, in Nigeria’s Kano State – resistance to vaccination remains. So he goes from house to house, speaking to parents about the importance of immunization.
“We who have been affected with polio go and visit communities to explain to them that they should immunize their children,” he says.
UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video
An intensified communication campaign is working to overcome resistance to polio immunization in high-risk areas of Nigeria.
Dramatic reduction in cases
As result of these communication campaigns Nigeria has made some remarkable progress. The number of new polio cases fell from almost 400 cases in 2009 to 21 in 2010 – a 95 per cent reduction. 
Today, Mr. Ahmad is hopeful that the eradication initiative will finally succeed. “In one or two years,” he says, “Nigeria can eradicate all polio.“










UNICEF



A survivor of polio works to eradicate the disease for Nigeria's future generations



KANO, Nigeria, 4 August 2011 – Aminu Ahmad sits on the side of the road intently watching his young apprentice weld a wheelchair. “This is our workshop and 80 per cent of the people here have disabilities, but we are working hard, just like anybody else,” he explains.







México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Apr 5, 2012

Staying Positive: How to Survive Medical Complications By RIchard Holicky


Spending day after day in bed can be a challenging nightmare, whether it’s just a few weeks, months, or years. It can be isolating, boring, uncomfortable, scary, depressing, unhealthy, dependent and unproductive. It’s a journey we do not choose, but once we’re committed for the long haul, hopefully we’ll emerge better and wiser. 

Joe Debise, 31, injured in a car accident a little less than two years ago, showed up at Craig Hospital in Denver as a C4 quad after a three-week stay in an ICU with a stage IV skin sore. “I was down for three to four months trying to heal it until they figured out during a flap surgery that the bone was infected as well. I was down for six more weeks, then up for very limited periods. It took a month before I was able to stay up for about six hours a day, and another six months to totally close. It was like being on work-release.”

For the newly-injured, experiencing extended down time can be especially troublesome. “The hardest part was being so isolated and totally dependent for everything, especially when in bed,” Debise says of his initial rehab and complications.

Coping with the day-to-day tedium can be even more challenging than negotiating the world on wheels. Hopefully, the experience of those interviewed here can help us make the best of medical complications, self-rehabbing and restoring ourselves to good operating condition read more http://www.newmobility.com/articleView.cfm?id=12106

México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Apr 2, 2012

An electronic exoskeleton is helping paraplegics do something that might just amaze you

The Paralyzed Get Back on Their Feet

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PHILADELPHIA, PA ( Ivanhoe Newswire ) -- An electronic exoskeleton is helping paraplegics do something that might just amaze you!
It’s been featured on glee but it looks more like something you’d see in Robocop. For former cop Jean Altomari it’s a bit of normalcy after a tragedy. Jean’s dream job ended after an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now she’s literally taking steps toward recovery with the ReWalk, a motorized exoskeleton.
"It has motors that basically move your hips and knees and allows an individual who is paralyzed, usually from the waist down, to walk," Alberto Esquenazi, M.D., director of the gait and motion laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia, told Ivanhoe.
Patients wear a computerized backpack that receives feedback from motion sensors at the joints. A remote control on the wrist "tells" the suit to stand up.
"It feels like I am standing up on my own power," Jean Altomari said.
ReWalk is then completely controlled by the patient’s movements.
"You gently tilt your body forward and it takes steps for you," Dr. Esquenazi explained.
"When they come across it, your body is still in good enough shape to rebound," Jean said.
Jean believes ReWalk offers her a way to keep her bones and muscles strong until there’s a 
Click here for Ivanhoe's full-length interview with Dr.Alberto Ezquenazi
In the meantime she’s still standing tall and moving forward with her life. The ReWalk is FDA approved for use in rehabilitation centers. A version of the ReWalk that could be used at home may be ready for trials sometime this year.



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