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Lyme: Another year of no action ends

0 2 years ago

To the Editor;

Another year is drawing to a close as the Lyme and co-infection battles continue.

In May 2010, I did my first presentation at the New Glasgow library on Lyme with but a handful of people present. I was scared to death. I have since given various presentation/talks, as well as having had Lyme awareness tables at several markets in the province. I wrote my first letter to the editor concerning Lyme disease in January 2012 to help bring awareness to the public and have been doing so ever since. I do believe people are more aware and I hope perhaps I have been part of helping to bring about awareness. It can now be said that there is an army of advocates working on the problem as awareness grows.

I met Elizabeth May in 2007-08 when she was campaigning in Pictou County for the Green Party. She asked about my use of a wheelchair. That’s when she got an education in Lyme disease. That’s when we became friends.

Elizabeth ran in B.C. in 2011 and was successful in being elected. Elizabeth first introduced in June 2012 private members Bill C-442, A Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act, and, in June 2014, the bill passed unanimously with multi-partisan support in the House of Commons. In May 2016, the Government of Canada held a three-day conference to develop the Federal Framework for Lyme Disease. Participants in the conference included patients, representatives of provincial and federal health ministries, researchers, patient groups, health-care professionals or other interested Canadians. It can be said little has changed since then to help prevent and reduce Lyme disease-related health risks to Canadians; the bill has been hijacked.

I have met people suffering from vector transmitted infections around the world thanks to social media. I have contact and made friends with researchers in both Canada and the U.S.A. It is past time for something to be done regarding this growing problem not just in Nova Scotia or Canada, but all parts of the world.

The idea that Lyme is hard to catch and easy to treat has been shown to be the exact opposite; easy to catch and hard to treat once it becomes chronic. Unfortunately, Lyme can become chronic very easily as proper diagnosis and treatment is not on the radar of most health-care practitioners. It was said there were no ticks in winter by Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, some years back but it has been proven to be a year-round problem. When temperatures are above 4 C, ticks can be active. Winter is not like it used to be, and yes, there is climate change although it has been denied by many. Be aware the only thing constant in life is change so you may as well get ready for the ride.

Did anyone think it would be easy? We must all work together for the highest good of mankind and our planet. The hope is that truth will shine and help will arrive for all those who suffer. I, in the meantime, will continue to speak out/write and help whoever reaches out or who I find is seeking help.

Education is key.

Brenda Sterling-Goodwin

New Glasgow

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