Connecting the African continent to drive a unified voice this World MS Day

World MS Day, officially marked on 30 May, aims to bring the global Multiple Sclerosis (MS) community together by sharing stories, raising awareness, and reducing the stigma, for everyone affected by the disease. MS is a chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system that leads to neurological symptoms and disability, affecting 1 out of every 3000 people in the world. 

While it’s the most common non-traumatic case of neurological disability in young adults, it’s a disease that is often misunderstood by both patients and providers, largely because the symptoms often mimic other conditions. MS symptoms can slowly appear or creep up on you suddenly. They can be scary and disorienting – that’s why we need the increased awareness and education of the disease.

The theme for World MS Day is connections – how building connection for the community and self is important to make people affected by the disease feel less lonely and socially isolated. Local Patient Organisation Groups are also getting involved to further raise awareness, challenge social barriers and stigma, to celebrate support networks and champion self-care. 

They have held numerous events which includes a video in partnership with The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF). 

By bringing about massive awareness to reach all people with MS, clinicians and therapists are creating an inclusive support structure and platform to address the burning issues of access to treatment, advocacy, epidemiology and financial support to all people living with this debilitating and incurable disease to never lose hope or feel alone –as we are stronger together.

Roche is working across Africa to build up MS care from the ground up, starting with identifying data gaps, launching clinical trials to understand how MS affects a typical African patient, and developing data registries to analyse these insights. Additionally, Roche is working with patient organisations to increase awareness and reduce the stigma. 

The organisation is proudly committed to creating awareness of MS through collaboration with various Patient Organisations across the region. It is important to speak with a consistent, unified voice in raising awareness on the signs and symptoms of MS and to reduce the stigma associated with MS. Roche is proud to walk the steps with all those living with MS.

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