Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
Plea for vaccine
Dear Ed, – The UK’s meningitis charities have joined forces and written to Prime Minister David Cameron.
In 2011, Mr Cameron said that the idea of children dying from preventable diseases was unthinkable in this day and age and pledged to save lives in the developing world by ensuring vaccine availability.
Yet UK children are still exposed to a deadly disease which can kill them in hours or leave them severely disabled. This is Meningitis B, the most common form of meningitis in the UK.
It kills more children aged under five than any other infection.
Thankfully, help is in sight. In January, a new Meningitis B vaccine – Bexsero® – received a licence from the European Commission. It is the first Meningitis B vaccine licensed for use in the UK and can save thousands of lives.
Over the next few weeks, the UK Government is considering whether to introduce this vaccine into the Routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule, so it will be given to children through the NHS.
We are determined to ensure this lifesaving vaccine is introduced as soon as possible, and the support of your readers is crucial for achieving this.
On average, 1,870 cases of Meningitis B occur in the UK every year – every one life-changing, regardless of the outcome.
One in 10 people who contract the disease will die and one in three will be left with devastating after-effects, such as limb loss or brain damage.
So, with every day that passes until this vaccine is introduced, many more lives are destroyed.
We believe the lives of our children must be made a priority. Only when the Meningitis B vaccine is introduced into the immunisation schedule will it change the meningitis landscape forever, saving lives and preventing children facing a lifetime of suffering.
We urge everyone to be aware of this issue and support the need for a Meningitis B vaccine. – Yours etc.,
CEO Meningitis Research Foundation.
CEO Meningitis Trust
& CEO Meningitis UK.
Life with polio
Dear Ed, – QVC presenter Julia Roberts’ decision to ‘come out’ as one of the thousands of people in Britain living with the effects of Polio or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a welcome move that will give hope to all those facing the daily struggle to live normal lives in the shadow of Polio.
Like many members of the British Polio Fellowship, Julia was diagnosed at just 14 months old and through the determination of her parents has gone on to enjoy a highly successful life and career.
No one ever dreamed she was one of the over 120,000 in Britain living with Polio and its effects.
With the help of her parents, who would not accept her condition could not be improved, Julia was taught to swim and this exercise plus dancing classes and self-belief strengthened her leg muscles so she could walk without a calliper, a slight limp the only outward sign of a life touched by Polio.
While Julia and inspiring figures like her demonstrate that there is hope for people and their families living with Polio, not everyone can succeed on their own.
We are here to see that they don’t have to.
The British Polio Fellowship offers practical help, support and information.
We are also here to listen and can be contacted free on 0800 018 0506 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk –Yours etc.,
British Polio Fellowship CEO.
Call for apology
Dear Ed, – Re: The Carstairs Medical Practice:
Full marks to the Carluke and Lanark Gazette for exposing a callous disregard towards the above practice, perpetrated by both South Lanarkshire Council’s rental demand and NHS Lanarkshire in distancing its support for this time-honoured practice.
Even more serious is the meanness of soul, which has destabilised a whole community, and the patients beyond the town’s boundaries.
South Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire have jointly exposed a dark side to planning decisions.
One is left wondering who will be first to issue a sincere apology (see below).
Apology: A statement, either written or verbal, expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offence. – Yours etc.,
REV JAMES SEATH,
Chips are free
Dear Ed, – Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, strongly believes that the time is right to introduce compulsory microchipping in Scotland, and welcomes the Scottish Labour Party’s support for this.
Microchipping has a vast number of welfare benefits – predominately the ability to rapidly reunite a lost or straying dog with its owner. (Owners must register their details.)
Microchipping need not pose a financial burden on dog owners – chipping is provided free at Dogs Trust’s two Scottish rehoming centres in Glasgow and West Calder and, if compulsory microchipping is introduced in Scotland, we will provide free chips widely for a set time period to ensure that no dog owner is left behind.
With momentum building in the rest of the UK, Dogs Trust is urging the Scottish Government to act now to ensure that Scotland doesn’t fall behind in this vital aspect of animal welfare and responsible dog ownership. Yours etc., –
Public Affairs Manager,
Dear Ed, – 1914 Commemoration: on March 16, 20 white peace doves were released in Warrington to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1993 IRA atrocity.
The release of one hundred peace doves in 2014 would be a fitting tribute to the sacrifice and suffering endured by so many during two World Wars, reminiscent too of a similar event on Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh in the 1940s.
Ceremonies like this provide the spectator with a poignant reminder for the future. – Yours etc.,