World MS Day 2017 will take place on Wednesday, May 31st and the theme this year is 'Life with MS', raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis for thousands of people in Ireland and their families.
Aoife Kirwan from Kildare and Maggs O’Riordan Wall from Limerick, both living with MS, are highlighting the challenges of life with MS including MS attacks, mobility issues, cognitive difficulties and the crucial need for increased neuro rehabilitation services.
Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland comments: “Life with Multiple Sclerosis is greatly impacted by the availability of neurology and neurorehabilitation services and this World MS Day we are calling for an increase in resources for neurology services in Ireland that match the need, ensuring access to care and support on time. Early identification of MS, early treatment with an appropiate medication and timely neurorehabilitation can improve functioning, reduce symptoms, and delay or prevent disability accumulation or deterioration.”
How to get involved
Events are planned across Ireland to mark World MS Day 2017 including 9,000 Steps for MS which will see supporters running, walking or dancing 9,000 Steps (6.5k) with colleagues, friends or family. Funds raised will directly help in services provision locally, in particular, physiotherapy, counselling and respite at the national MS Care Centre.
MS Ireland, the national organisation providing vital services, information and support to people with MS, will hold a World MS Day event at Leinster House on Wednesday, May 31st to raise awareness of essential neuro rehabilitation services for people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Neurology services in Ireland:
- The number of specialist nurses is significantly below what is recommended for our population with less than half the recommended number of MS nurses
- Every hospital group exceeds the ratio for consultant neurologists for our population
- No centre has MRI access for routine referrals in under two months and seven of the eleven neurology centres cannot get access within one year of referral.
- Lack of access to neurorehabilitation services including therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Ireland should have nine community neurorehabilition teams. There are currently only three in the entire counry and these are only partially staffed
* The source of these statistics is the survey carried out by the Neurological Alliance of Alliance and the National Clinical Programme for Neurology, published in February 2016.