Over the years, polio has caused me a lot of pain. But, it has also helped me to be more open-minded and to develop strengths I might not have otherwise had. I won’t be running the New York marathon anytime soon, but how many people can do that anyway?
Given my experiences with polio, I had for a long time been interested in working for a healthcare company. GSK’s history of supporting efforts to eradicate polio stretches over more than half a century, having begun producing a vaccine in the 1950s. I wanted to work for a company that was helping, through immunisation, to prevent people contracting this disease. Six years ago, I joined GSK and now work in the vaccines team.
For many people polio is very far away – it belongs in another time and place. But for those living in polio’s last strongholds – like Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan – it remains a very real threat. That’s why it is important that we keep spreading the word about polio, that we keep educating people so that they understand the signs and symptoms of the disease. It is not enough just to focus on the towns and cities. We need to reach everyone, in even the smallest villages, in every country.