PODCAST: THRIVE Part 15: Former MP, Andrew Madella shares his story about disability

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Former Member of Parliament and trade unionist, Andrew Madella was diagnosed with polio as a child. As a result, he struggles to walk.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Poliomyelitis, often known as polio, is a highly infectious viral disease that mainly affects children under the age of five.

The virus spreads mostly by the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, through a common carrier, such as contaminated water or food, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can infiltrate the nervous system and cause paralysis.

The Health Department says the last case of polio in South Africa occurred in 1989 and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) African Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) certified South Africa as a polio-free country in 2019.

According to the WHO, cases were confirmed in Southern Africa this year. Laboratory analysis linked the strains detected in Malawi and Mozambique to a strain circulating in Pakistan’s Sindh Province in 2019.

Polio is still endemic in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan and has been eradicated from the rest of the world.

Madella shares his journey of disability, personal achievements, aspirations and challenges with SABC Digital News Producer Lebo Tshangela in this bi-weekly feature, Thrive.

He says, “Opportunities that exist must be equalised, meaning the barriers that exist that prevent me and you from competing for the same thing have to be eradicated.”

Below is the full podcast:

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 1: Former Western Cape councillor with paraplegia shares his story

Related: PODCAST | THRIVE Part 2: Rapper and radio presenter with a visual impairment shares his story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 3: Former JSE employee with paraplegia shares her story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 4: Single amputee Randi Ndele shares his story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 5: Disability must not be an obstacle to your life, says visually impaired community leader

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 6: Commission of Gender and Equality Commissioner with albinism shares her story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 7: Journalist and para-athlete star Palesa Manaleng shares her story

Related: THRIVE Part 8: Mosala Makhetha shares his experience of being a Deaf person in SA

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 9: Northern Cape woman with Erb-Duchenne Palsy shares her story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 10: Single amputee, Robert Masambo shares his story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 11: A bank employee with visual impairment shares his story

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 12: Politician Poppy Mocumi shares her story about disability

Related: PODCAST: THRIVE Part 13: A businessman who is partially sighted shares his story

Related: [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] PODCAST: THRIVE Part 14: Amputee dancer, Seun Stew shares his story