Friday 22 March 2019

Walk to raise awareness of Lyme

Jessica Farry

A group of locals who are trying to raise awareness of Lyme Disease have organised an awareness walk that they hope will help alert people to the causes and symptoms of the disease.

The 'Lyme Disease Awareness 5km Walk' will take place on Sunday, September 30th at 11am, starting from the Riverside Hotel. Refreshments will be served after the walk.

Lyme disease sufferers and family members will be present on the day, and will be more than willing to talk to anyone with any questions.

TD for Sligo Leitrim, Marc MacSharry has been involved with the campaign for years, and he is continuing the fight to get treatment and support for those with the disease here in Ireland.

He told The Sligo Champion: "I got involved with Lyme six or seven years ago when a Sligo based American lady who was suffering with it came to me. I brought that lady into the joint Oireachtas committee to make a presentation on health at the time but unfortunately very little happened on the back of that. But with Tick Talk here in the north west with Fiona Quilter and Miriam Morrison, and some 20 others in Sligo that we know are infected with it (we suspect there are more), I got involved in that campaign.

"Eamon Scanlon and I are co-chairs of the cross-party working group on Lyme disease which we set up about six months ago. We've had a number of meetings.

"All parties were represented including the Government. We've sought meetings with the Chief Medical Officer, the acting CEO of the HSE, the Minister for Health and the Taoiseach which we hope can advance the calls to get recognised care pathways available to these people who at the moment have no support, have to travel throughout the world and frankly are having their conditions dismissed by many established medical world, told to see a shrink, see a psychologist."

Meetings will take place in September with the Chief Medial Officer and the HSE, confirmed the Fianna Fáil TD.

"We've a national protest organised for the 26th of September outside Dáil Eireann. In parallel there has been a very important international breakthrough where an international ad-hoc committee which informs the World Health Organisation has finally recognised a number of conditions that are directly associated with Lyme, in particular dementia.

"That's very good news. The WHO, of which Ireland is a member, are giving until 2022 for these standards to be adopted.

"We're hoping that through the cross-party action group and indeed Lyme north-west and the national organisations involved that we can get the Government and authorities to be among the first to adopt those, begin to identity care pathways and give people support they need here, and support if they need to go abroad."

For more check out

Sligo Champion