Maltese Fibromyalgia and M/E Activist Shows How Much Medication She Needs to Function

Ruth Debono, Malta’s fibromyalgia leader and M/E campaigner, showed people how much medicine she needs to take to function in her daily life as she urges the government to improve support for the disease.

Debono, CEO of the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Alliance, posted photos of 15 different types of drugs, which she says cost her around $150. She warned that this was not even an exhaustive list as it did not include certain sleeping pills, heating balms and other medications needed on a case-by-case basis.

However, only three drugs – Amitriptyline, Pragiola and Tramadol – are provided free by the government, and she warned that not everyone can take these three drugs due to their side effects.

People suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and M/E have long demanded that the Maltese authorities recognize their conditions as a disability and provide them with financial assistance in terms of medicines, vouchers for food allergies, vouchers for treatments like acupuncture and pool therapy. , and long-term home help to relieve their symptoms.

“What we are looking for – disability – is not a whim that we have decided to have,” Debono said. “No. It’s a need, an acknowledgment that we need to improve our lives.

“What we need is financial help: disability benefits, long-term therapy, home help, vouchers for food allergies, vouchers for treatments like acupuncture, pool therapy, physiotherapy, etc. Not a single treatment, but a planned program prepared individually by a consultant and his patient.

The PL manifesto promises more free drugs and treatment for fibromyalgia sufferers, but gives no details on the scale of the program.

Deputy PN Alex Borg

Deputy PN Alex Borg

Earlier this week, Debono and PN MP Alex Borg questioned the government’s health budget priorities after Prime Minister Robert Abela promised sex reassignment surgery for trans people would be free.

They said that while they agree with the sex change proposal, the government should first focus on helping people with fibromyalgia and similar invisible conditions.

Borg’s comment caused a bit of a backlash, with Parliamentary Secretary for Equality Rebecca Buttigieg and a number of LGBTIQ+ activist groups calling him out for not adequately recognizing the needs of trans people.

Do you think the government should provide more financial assistance to people with fibromyalgia?

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society caused by technological advances. He is passionate about justice, human rights and cutting edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or contact him at [email protected]

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