By Sasha Nimmo in ME Australia.
(Written prior to May 12th, but of interest nonetheless)
The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patient and research communities are delighted the Australian parliament officially recognise the urgent need for biomedical research in the field.
Senator Anne Urquhart, a Tasmanian Labor senator, (on behalf of her colleague Senator Helen Polley) and Senator Stirling Griff, a Centre Alliance senator from South Australia, moved the motion in the Senate today, in time for International ME and CFS Awareness Day on May 12. Across Australia and the rest of the world, events will be held to mark the day, including in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
The Senate motion recognises that the lack of a current diagnostic test for ME and CFS is a barrier to people receiving timely and accurate diagnosis, and that there is no current cure or effective treatment.
Between 94,000 and 242,000 Australians have ME or CFS, 25 per cent are so severely affected they cannot leave home or bed. There is a five per cent remission rate. Australian GPs struggle to recognise the illness without useful clinical guidelines and in Australia it is misdiagnosed in nearly 40 per cent of cases.
“Australian researchers are amongst the best in the world and their vitally important work needs to be funded so we don’t lose them to other fields,” said Sasha Nimmo, who has severe ME. “It is their work that gives us hope.”
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