Healthy funding disproportionate?

I’m guessing that the majority of people in the UK don’t recognise the name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – certainly couldn’t describe what the condition is.  Maybe if I tell you it’s M.E. for short?  Or – let me fair here – that GP’s call it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Oh yes – that thing.  That thing that used to be called ‘Yuppie Flu’ is it …?

How about HIV? That’s pretty well known right?  Well, yes, the Government spends a lot of money each year making sure we know about it.  And that’s a good thing.

What about these conditions – I’m sure you’ve heard of these? 

Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Cystic Fibrosis?  I’m sure you have.  All of them debilitating uncurable conditions crying out for more research.

So here’s the thing that shocked me …

Take a look at these figures:

Number of UK sufferers 2006:

5,000  people – Motor Neurone Disease

7,500 people – Cystic Fibrosis

70,000 people – HIV

85,000 people – Multiple Sclerosis

120,000 people – Parkinson’s Disease

240,000 – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)

Before I developed M.E. myself I knew practically nothing about it and what I did know was full of mis-information.  Yet this condition effects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK.  In fact it effects  over 3 times the number of people than HIV does.

Don’t get me wrong – this is by no means a competition. 

All deserve treatment, research, care, compassion and education of the public.  It just seems that maybe some conditions have a lot less government funding, fewer chances,  and very little voice compared to others. 

Anyone wanting to do a research paper/dissertation on this would have my blessing!

Sources:

Motor Neurone Disease – 5,000 people in the UK at any one time
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/mnd1.shtml

Cystic Fibrosis – 7,500 people in the UK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/cystic1.shtml

HIV – around 70,000 people in the UK (Nov 2006)
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article1996319.ece
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6174200.stm

Multiple Sclerosis – 85,000 people in the UK (Aug 2006)
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=254§ionId=19117 

Parkinson’s Disease – 120,000 people in the UK
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=278

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) – 240,000 people in the UK
www.afme.org.uk

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One Comment on “Healthy funding disproportionate?”


  1. […] ME/CFS impacts on a sizable section of the population, yet is very much the poor relation in terms of research, understanding and treatment when compared with some more “media-friendly” conditions. […]


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