On Monday night, Channel 4 aired 'Ade Adeptian: Journey of my Life'; which follows the journey of TV presenter and Paralympic wheelchair basketball champion, Ade Adepitan, as he travels back to his birth home of Lagos, Nigeria to find out why the polio disease is still thriving in only this part of Africa.
Adepitan, now 40, had contracted polio at the age of 6 months. He had already had two shots of the polio vaccine, but caught the disease before the final third shot which would have protected him for life.
At the age of 10, a bumpy looking rash, sudden onset fever and a withered leg meant an emergency visit to the hospital and now requires a wheelchair for mobility.
In the UK, we are very lucky to live in a country where polio is not as common, although as children, we are still given vaccines for polio alongside others including measles, mumps and rubella. Many of us do not realize that although these vaccines are useful, we need to have a 'top up' booster shot later in life. They also don't protect you from other infectious diseases abroad.
If you're planning on travelling abroad, always check with your Doctor if you need to have any vaccines or take any precautionary medicine. This should be done at least 6 weeks prior to travel. Any course of medicines that are prescribed to you, such as malaria tablets, must be completed to be effective - even if you are back in the UK and you feel well. Diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A/B and malaria are alive and active in many parts of the world, therefore it is crucial that you look after yourself and your family through simple precautionary measures.
If upon your return to the UK you or a member of your family start to feel unwell, make an emergency appointment with your Doctor and let them know you have been abroad.
For more information about vaccinations, take a look at our recent Vaccinations Press Release.
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