Need more awareness of Multiple Sclerosis, say activists
CHENNAI: Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, affects its functioning unexpectedly, and repeatedly results in devastating disabilities in young people in the prime of their lives.
On India Multiple Sclerosis Day (India MS Day), disability rights activists emphasise on creating awareness on symptoms and impact.
The theme for this year for India MS Day is ‘Celebrate MS’. The Chennai Chapter of the MS Society of India conducted an awareness programme in the city, was presided by GCC Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Commissioner.
MS, also known as the ‘Crippler of the Young Adult’ because of the disability associated with it, has various symptoms ranging from minor visual disturbance to total paralysis. It brings about 41 invisible disabilities. Hence, it has been classified as a disability under GoI’s Right of Persons With Disability (RPWD) Act, 2016.
However, disability activists say that there is little or no support for people living with MS. “Those with MS, like me, have to struggle to get medicines and a disability certificate (latter is mandatory for a disability ID). As wheelchair users, it’s a Herculean task to even get pension due to lack of accessibility. So, part of our job is to help them get together and improve their health and situation,” said Disability Rights Alliance member Smitha Sadasivan.
The campaign aims to raise awareness on several factors regarding MS, mainly that there is no known cause or cure for it. “It’s usually diagnosed between ages 25 and 40 years and lasts a lifetime but the symptoms vary. This makes life with MS unpredictable. Medicines can only stem the progression of the disease. Treatments and services are improving for people with MS, but the cost of treatment is very high,” rued Smitha.
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