By Amina Abdul Salam
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care Society has launched a campaign marking World Multiple Sclerosis Day to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease as well as to urge early detection of the disease.
MS is one of the most dangerous diseases to strike the central nervous system.
World Multiple Sclerosis Day is celebrated in May every year and its activities continue throughout the following months.
The disease, though of limited prevalence, often affects people at their most productive time in life, between the ages of 20 and 40. It appears in the form of repeated attacks of paralysis of the nerves in different parts of the body if the symptoms are neglected.
MS is a chronic disease that affects 2.5 million people throughout the world and about 50,000 people in Egypt. So far, there is no effective treatment for the disease. The medications are aimed at improving the body functions and preventing new seizures. The caring societies for the disease concentrate on trying to improve the quality of life of the patient.
Ahmed Darwish, Deputy Chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Care Society, says that MS is a silent killer not only of life but also of social development as the disease affects young people who are the backbone of the national economy.
Darwish says that if treatment starts early it raises the probability of avoidance of the development of the disease. So the most dangerous challenge for MS patients in Egypt is lack of awareness of the disease.
Darwish stressed the importance of coordinating the efforts of the public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations to spread awareness of MS and the need to supply patients with medications as only a very limited number of medicines are covered by the health insurance system.
Dr Dina Zamam, Assistant Professor of Brain and Nerves, Ain Shams University, noted that fortunately there are various medicines for MS which reduce the symptoms of the disease and the number of attacks, although the side effects of the medicines may affect on the patient’s life .
She stressed the importance of raising awareness of MS, especially the prevalence rates of the disease, which are double for women than men.