Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament marking MS Awareness Week 2023 (24-30 April) which has attracted strong cross party support.
Mr McArthur lodged the motion in recognition of the fact that Orkney has the highest rate of MS (multiple sclerosis) in the world, with research estimating that the condition affects around one in 250 Orcadians. A report last year found that the 2021 incidence rate of MS in Orkney was more than 250% of the Scottish average.
In his motion, Mr McArthur called on fellow MSPs to join efforts to raise awareness of MS and praised the work of charities that help support people who live with MS.
MS Awareness Week 2023 is taking place from 24 to 30 April 2023, and this year it is focussing on the experiences of people who live with the condition using the hashtag #MSMakesMe.
Commenting on the campaign and his motion, Mr McArthur said:
“Most Orcadians will know somebody who lives with MS and will be familiar with the impact it can have on a person’s life.
“MS affects different people in very different ways, however, and the MS Society is using this year’s Awareness Week to highlight the diverse effects the condition can have on people’s lives and wellbeing. The focus on promoting the mental health and wellbeing of people living with MS is particularly welcome.
“I would also want to pay special tribute to the local MS Group for the work they do all year round supporting those in our islands affected by MS. We may have the highest incidence of MS, but Orkney is fortunate in having one of the most active community support networks in the country as well.”