The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Light Up the Night 2021

Thursday, 13 May 2021, 08:51 Last update: about 2 months ago

Gzira Local Council in collaboration with MIDI participated in the Light Up the Night 2021 initiative by lighting MIDIs offices on Manoel Island blue and purple on the night of the 11th and 12th May.

The Light Up the Night 2021 initiative is an annual event which is organised globally by NGOs with the aim of raising awareness for three disabling illnesses, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME,CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM).

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What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia?

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia are two distinct chronic and invisible disabilities, which roughly make up 0.2% - 6% of Malta's population, an estimated 75% to 85% of these sufferers are predominantly women.

Fibromyalgia is the second most common chronic condition affecting the bones, muscles and soft tissues, causing pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, joints and tendons. Its classic symptoms are widespread pain and fatigue leaving sufferers in extreme pain 24/7, thus finding it difficult to cope with life and work. An estimated 4-6% suffer from it in Malta.

ME, most, commonly but wrongfully known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems, leaving its sufferers completely depleted and unable to function, in pain, and often unable to take care of themselves and needing a carer with them. An estimated 0.2-0.4% suffer from it in Malta.

ME sufferers often are faced with being confused with Fibromyalgia. Even though both are awful, ME is far more disabling and can lead to death.

40% of Fibromyalgia sufferers are unable to work, whilst ME being far worse has a staggering 75% of sufferers house bound that cannot work. 25% of sufferers are bed bound and there is a 3% death rate amongst the sufferers.

They are truly devastating for both the sufferers and their loved ones alike, as no to little help can be found in Malta. Not enough is known amongst medical specialists to properly diagnose and give adequate treatments as the Government refuses to accept us as a disability.


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