'A start made in Lyme Disease fight'
Dr. Jack Lambert, Consultant Specialist in Infectious Disease at Dublin's Mater Hospital, was joined on Monday by Fianna Fail TDs Marc Mac Sharry & Eamon Scanlon, Co-Chairs of the Cross Party Oireachtas Action Group on Lyme to launch Ireland's first Lyme Disease Resource in Dublin.
In a joint statement, Mac Sharry & Scanlon speaking as Co-Chairs of the Lyme Disease Action Group which they founded in the Oireachtas said: "This is a very welcome development and we are delighted to be associated with it.
"Dr. Lambert is to be commended in his proactive and compassionate approach to Lyme in Ireland.
Much of the medical establishment have ignored what has become one of our nation's silent crises and taken refuge in outdated guidelines for diagnosis and treatment.
The LRC launch under the stewardship of Dr Lambert is a watershed moment for Lyme disease in Ireland in terms of the provision of Education for GPs,
Support for Patients and the crucial lobby for adequate recognition of the problem, better science and research, clinical diagnosis and appropriate care pathways.
A start has been made but with the ambivalence of the establishment there is a long hard battles ahead "
Also speaking at the launch was Jenna Luche-Thayer, a former Senior Adviser to the US Government and the United Nations.
Ms. Luche-Thayer, pioneer of Lyme Disease Recognition and a former patient herself founded an All-Voluntary International Committee which executed a comprehensive approach which helped to successfully establish new codes for life-threatening complications from Lyme. The revised codes now include congenital lyme borreliosis.
This is the first time in over 25 years these serious complications have been officially recognised by the World Health Organisation.
Mac Sharry said "While as a group within the Oireachtas we will continue to fight for the progress required, this will be a difficult task.
"In the meantime, the nature of the LRC is 'Opt in' that is to say non mandatory. For this reason we should all encourage our GPs to engage with the LRC and Dr. Lambert. If we can succeed in doing this it would represent a small but very significant step in the right direction in terms of education in diagnosis and treatment."
Following the launch Deputy Eamon Scanlon said, in over 25 years in Public Life I have never witnessed such a rise in the prevalence of Lyme Disease in Ireland, it is incumbent upon us all to do all we can to assist Dr Lambert and the now countless Patients and Families nationwide afflicted by this debilitating disease.