Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Accuse the Ministry of Health of Neglect

Patients with multiple sclerosis, their family members and doctors, gathered at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel again to discuss the illness Multiple Sclerosis and the problems related to its treatment. The event was organized as part of the Together for One Campaign, which aims to support patients and actively engage the public and the state in this process.

At the meeting, patients and doctors summarized current problems, discussed the need for timely diagnosis and adequate treatment, and reminded the government that people with multiple sclerosis are waiting for funding. However, they accused the Ministry of Health of neglect, pointing out the need for affordable treatment.

This year, the Ministry of Health of Ajara pays 25 thousand GEL for expensive medicines for patients with multiple sclerosis. The program has 10 beneficiaries at this stage. Patients living in Tbilisi and the regions are also waiting for such assistance. Yet despite the promises, they do not know what to expect in 2020 and whether the disease modifying treatments will be available to them.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health were invited to the event but did not attend.

Attendance was free. Interested people at the meeting had the opportunity to share their experiences with each other in the fight against the disease and ask questions to leading specialists.

“It is difficult when your government cannot understand its citizens. In spring, we received a promise that the multiple sclerosis treatment would become more affordable. However, we still do not know what to expect. Moreover, the condition for 2020 is also unclear. We are patients who live, work, pay taxes into the state budget, but neglect by the government can take away all of this and drive us into a wheelchair. Keeping and caring for persons with disabilities is much more expensive for the state. Our families need us to be active: there are young children behind us,” said Marika Kajaia, who has been fighting the disease for several years, sometimes winning, sometimes giving up. She is an active person today, an active marketing specialist, and has a child who needs her support.

To support people with multiple sclerosis, a worldwide campaign was organized in spring, titled “Bringing Us Closer”. The goal of the campaign is to raise public awareness about the disease, timely diagnose it and provide access to adequate treatment.

Information on Multiple Sclerosis:

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurological disease and approximately 2.3 million people worldwide have this pathology. The first symptoms tend to appear in the age group of 20 to 40 years and therefore multiple sclerosis is a major cause of non-traumatic disability in young people. The disease activity is very important in all forms- inflammatory processes in the nervous system are followed by the death of neurons in the brain. This process can continue even if the patient has no clinical symptoms. The primary purpose of treatment for multiple sclerosis is to reduce disease activity at an early stage so that disability does not progress. Nowadays, modifying therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis can be provided, which significantly reduces disease activity and progression of disability.

Feedback from the Union of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

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