Today is World MS Day. And this should be an important day for raising awareness of multiple sclerosis in countries around the globe. But that is not what is happening.
Even though the supposedly special day is coordinated by the MS International Federation (MSIF) and has its own website, the national charities prefer to concentrate on their own activities.
Just look at the World MS Day website list of these activities:
MS Carnation Campaign, Canada
From 11-13 May, the MS Society of Canada mobilised people across the nation to support the MS Carnation Campaign for Mother’s Day.
Theatre for MS, Egypt
Throughout April, the MS Care Society Egypt raised awareness of the stigma surrounding MS and other conditions by organising theatrical performances featuring people with MS.
Book Launch: “Endless story of MS”, Slovakia
From 11-12 May, the MS Society of Slovakia marked the launch of “Endless story with MS”. It is a book full of personal stories of people with MS.
Wellness Seminar, India
On 14 May, the Mumbai Chapter of the MS Society of India (MSSI) organised an educational seminar on methods for managing MS, led by renowned medical & health practitioners in Mumbai.
Solidarity Fundraising Walk, Portugal
On 30 April, people took to the streets of Peso da Régua, Portugal, for a solidarity fundraising walk in honour of World MS Day.
As strange as it may seem, the fact is that not one of those activities is being held on World MS Day itself. The website does not list any event being held today.
Additionally, major national organizations are embracing their own awareness events.
Just take a look at these examples:
- USA – National MS Awareness Month held in March.
- Canada -National MS Month held in May.
- UK – MS Awareness Week held in March.
- New Zealand – Awareness Week held in August.
With support of that magnitude, or lack of it, I really think the MSIF should drop the idea of World MS Day. Clearly, it does not have necessary international support.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.