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Neurologist: MS patients treated with 20-year-old drugs

Published: 
Sunday, June 3, 2018

Neurologist Dr Avidesh Panday says while the care and treatment of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in T&T has steadily improved in the last ten years, patients are still being treated with first-line drugs that are 20 years old.

He was speaking at the Multiple Sclerosis Support Foundation of T&T's (MSSFTT) World MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Day celebration, at the Marriott Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Panday said “Overall our support services have improved in both the diagnosis and management of MS over the last ten years. While we're seeing steady improvement in the treatment of MS, it leaves a lot to be desired. We're still treating MS in Trinidad with first-line drugs from 20 years ago. That needs to be changed.”

He said, however, in the last three to four years the medical expertise was advance with the addition of five neurologists in Trinidad and MRI facilities established in San Fernando General Hospital, Scarborough General Hospital, and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Champs Fleurs.

Panday, who works at the Mt Hope Neurological Clinic, said physiotherapy centres were available at the St James Infirmary, Port-of-Spain General Hospital, Scarborough General Hospital, EWMSC, and part time at the Couva District Health Facility. He said the staff of medical social workers had also increased.

Former government minister and president of the MSSFTT Dr Daphne Phillips said the organization also updated its members on the new drugs that had become available and monitored those drugs as well for their various side effects as far as they can.

She said the foundation focused on services which were required by people with MS to improve and prolong the quality of their lives.

Phillips said the services were physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, relevant and adequate nutrition, as well as the provision of information and education that was available internationally on all matters related to MS.

Also present at the event were Dr Harry Smith, principal Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, Atiba Phillips, managing director Infocom Technologies, foundation directors Sally Ann Lee-Lung and John Bateau.

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