Multiple Sclerosis patients – support associations Launch the “Stay Optimistic” Campaign To spread awareness about the disease in a series of initiatives

Beirut, Lebanon – 2021. In light of World MS Day celebrated worldwide on May 30th, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patient-support associations have launched a series of initiatives during the month of May, as part of the “Stay Optimistic” awareness campaign sponsored by Merck, a leading science and technology company. The campaign aims to provide MS patients with information from the latest research on the disease during this pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, caregivers, friends, family, support groups, healthcare professionals, and communities involved in MS have played an even more important role than usual in surrounding the MS patient with the necessary care and attention throughout the year.

Commenting on the campaign, Merck General Manager Dr. Hala Sleiman said, “With our campaign “Stay optimistic”, we want to underline how much progress has been made in the past few years and that there genuinely is reason for hope. Many new disease-modifying therapies have been discovered that can help MS patients live their lives to the fullest. Our purpose at Merck is “As One For Patients” and we work relentlessly to improve the lives of those living with MS, by addressing areas of unmet medical needs. We are committed to supporting you – the MS patient and MS patient support groups – wherever you are in Lebanon and the region.”

The campaign included face-to-face interviews with Prof. Salam Kousa, Prof. Halim Abboud and Dr. Nabil Al-Ayoubi on the associations’ social media pages, in which they shared the latest developments in multiple sclerosis, treatments, vaccines, as well as their effective role in protecting MS patients. Those who followed-up were able to interact and address their questions and inquiries directly to the specialists, who in turn, emphasized the importance of patients monitoring their health status with their doctor to limit the progression of the disease.

The campaign included motivational videos and social media posts that were posted on the associations’ social media pages, through which MS patients and caregivers shared their experiences and the important role of emotional support in helping to overcome the difficulties of the disease and coping with any other transient condition.