Wanted: used walking aids

Russell Bachmann from North Ipswich Rotary and David Smith, Director of Physiotherapy at West Moreton Hospital & Health Service

The call has gone out from North Ipswich Rotary for unwanted crutches, walking sticks, walking frames and wheelchairs, needed to help hundreds of people with polio.

West Moreton Hospital & Health Service and Rotary have joined forces to collect walking aids for people with polio in neighbouring Third World countries as part of a ‘Regain Mobility’ program.

The mobility aids will be repaired and refurbished by Ipswich Men’s Shed and sent to countries such as Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands, East Timor and Indonesia, where hundreds of polio survivors have no access to walking aids.

Russell Bachmann, President of Ipswich North Rotary Club said that without walking aids polio survivors were left with severe mobility problems but that a set of crutches would significantly improve their quality of life.

“These walking aids will make it easier for polio survivors to participate and literally move within their community,� said Mr Bachmann.

Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99% worldwide by providing free immunisation through the ‘Polio Plus’ and ‘End Polio Now’ programs. Currently, there are only three countries where polio is still a threat — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Walking aids, in any condition, can be donated to the Physiotherapy Department, at any of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service hospitals between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

The Physiotherapy Department, Ipswich Hospital is located near the Main Entrance on Chelmsford Ave.

Walking aids can also be donated to Physiotherapy Departments at Boonah, Esk, Gatton and Laidley Hospitals. For more information on the collection of mobility aids contact the Physiotherapy Department, on telephone 3810 1355.