Multimedia patient advocacy10.04.2017
By Dragana Ilic Šutović
The Serbian MS Society (DMSS) is relying increasingly on multimedia initiatives in its outreach to different MS stakeholders, from MS patients to health authorities. Two related activities are the publication of a popular MS magazine and the development of a nationwide video campaign. Article for EMSP’s Membership Newsletter.
My MS World
This is the title of the Society’s magazine targeting mainly MS patients but also specialists and relevant institutions.
The publication is currently printed in 3,000 copies but DMSS is receiving requests – which it can only honour through additional fundraising – to substantially increase this number.
DMSS is also producing and disseminating brochures, leaflets, guides and MS manuals.
‘I have MS’
The name of DMSS’ 2017 video campaign is meant to help reach out to the general public and convey the message that people living with MS and their families need support to improve their quality of life.
In addition, the Society’s representatives plan TV and radio appearances on this topic in order to fuel more dissemination through print and e-media as well as future debates, round-tables, seminars and press conferences.
This campaign will focus on key aspects of MS management such as treatment and rehabilitation, education, employment and mobility. But the showpiece will be MS treatment.
DMSS plans to mount ‘positive pressure’ on decision-makers in order to improve access to medicines as an important step in ensuring a better quality of life for people with MS.
Severely restricted access
The estimated MS population in Serbia is 7,000 people. Currently, less than 10 percent of them are treated with so-called immunomodulatory therapies such as interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. Moreover, for second-line treatments there is virtually no access.
DMSS considers this a serious infringement of patients’ constitutional right to be treated and calls for all stakeholders to urgently address this issue.