Beirut, Lebanon – 2019: L’Association Libanaise contre la Sclérose en Plaques (ALiSEP) launched an awareness campaign in collaboration with Merck, under the slogan “ما ترفع العشرة” – a famous Arabic saying that means “don’t surrender” – in a press conference held on Wednesday, May 8th, at The Key Aparthotel, in the presence of media representatives and social media influencers, in addition to members from both Merck and ALiSEP NGO.
The campaign aims to spread awareness on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and encourage MS patients not to surrender, granting them with hope for a normal life, while fighting MS with the continuous medical follow-ups to cope with the disease and limit its development. The campaign was visualized through a symbol of hope with two hands and a dream catcher, in addition to the hashtag that calls for patients to transform their fears into positive dreams for a better tomorrow.
The president of ALiSEP NGO, Mrs. Jane Koussa, said: “since its foundation, our NGO aims through its different activities to break the silence and offer psychological and financial support to the patient, and today, by launching this campaign, we are standing by the patients again, giving them hope not to give up, but fight the disease with all their forces and regularly follow-up with their doctors to manage the disease and limit its development in the best way possible.” She continued saying: “MS is commonly diagnosed in young adulthood and we estimate around 2400 Lebanese are suffering from it, hence the importance of spreading awareness.”
Dr. Hala Sleiman, General Manager of Merck Near East, started her speech thanking the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health for its constant concern for the health of the patients in Lebanon, placing them on top of its priorities. She also underlined Merck’s 20 years’ experience in MS and its ongoing commitment bringing solutions to the MS Community in Lebanon which are helping patients to cope with their illness and experience the closest thing to a life without MS. She said: “The medical landscape has made significant progress over the past 20 years, ranging from a complete absence to a solution to the multiple options available to control and manage the disease. And added: “In the area of chronic diseases like MS, we always aim to work jointly with local medical societies, Patient Associations and governmental bodies, to address outstanding unmet patient needs in MS, slow down its development and improve the quality of life of the patient.”