FORMER deputy mayor of Armidale Dumaresq Bruce Whan is calling on people who have previously suffered polio to join the Australian Polio Register.
Mr Whan is one of about 400,000 polio survivors living in Australia and now, more than 50 years after being first diagnosed with polio, he is battling the disease for a second time.
Post-polio syndrome affects people in later life who were infected with the disease as a child.
Symptoms include decreasing muscle strength and endurance, muscle and joint pain, speaking difficulties and fatigue.
Mr Whan said he was an active member of the community before his polio symptoms returned.
“I was in the university fire brigade for many years and was very active and fit,” he said. “Since experiencing post-polio syndrome in my left leg, I now have trouble using stairs.”
Polio Australia set up the register in 2010 to gather statistical data about polio survivors.
The aim of the project is to raise awareness of polio within the community and assist polio survivors to manage the disease.
Armidale AM Rotary Club is conducting a campaign to help as many members of the local community join the register.
Club member and district publicity officer Lorraine Coffey said joining the register would give people better access to support from Polio Australia.