Upper Bann MP David Simpson has met with a local families to hear of their anguish and disappointment of how Lyme Disease is firstly diagnosed, and secondly treated and managed within Northern Ireland.
Lyme disease falls under the category of rare infectious diseases and is spread to humans through infected ticks.
It can be treated effectively if it is detected early enough, otherwise those with the disease may develop severe and long lasting symptoms; these symptoms include life changing problems for suffers.
Treatment has proven effective but lack of knowledge of the disease leaves many sufferers facing years of pain.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson has backed efforts to raise awareness and to support calls for doctors to be trained to recognise the symptoms that so often mirror common illnesses.
“I was approached by local families to attend the awareness day in Westminster to meet with specialist doctors who spoke of this growing problem that is having a profound effect on an increasing number of families throughout my constituency,” said Mr Simpson.
“More and more people are suffering but it is a disease which many health care professionals do not know anything about.
“We urgently need new measures to determine the true incidence, prevalence and risk of Lyme Disease in Northern Ireland or more and more people will be left without adequate treatment and suffering for the rest of the their lives.
“The UK Government has commissioned three Independent reviews and I am urgently calling on our own Department for Health to mirror this review without delay.
“My colleague Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and I will be hosting an event to raise awareness locally and to support families who are living increasing debilitating disease.”
MPs and members of the House of Lords had the opportunity to meet with doctors, researchers, Lyme disease advocacy groups and patients to be briefed on urgent action required in the UK during the event at Westminster. Doctors also attended from the UK, Ireland, France and Germany.
The main objective of the meeting was to establish an All Party Parliamentary Group, which would be tasked with effecting much needed change in the UK.