Rotary Club of Belfast

Impact of Polio

Hannah Brown 2 09.10.23The Club was delighted to welcome Hannah Brown as the guest speaker at the Club meeting Monday 09 October. She is an historian of medicine and disability, currently in the 2nd year of her PhD research at Ulster University surveying contemporary doctors’ interpretations of polio, the vaccine rollout and newspapers perceptions of polio, as well as fellowships created and support networks. Her very detailed and well-illustrated address covered her conversations with 5 of the 11 polio survivors from Belfast whom she contacted through the Northern Ireland Polio Fellowship to find out how the experiences of diagnosis, hospitalisation and treatment from 1947-1982 had impacted their lives. Her excellent, well-illustrated presentation, which, was very well received, covered how people were diagnosed with polio, what it was like to be in hospital and kind of treatments received.

Her address generated many questions and, noting many her age had never heard of polio, she hoped her research will shed a light on it and can help survivors in some way.

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