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World M.E day launches with first year theme announced

February 28, 2022

The World ME Alliance, a collaborative of organisations from across the globe, is launching World ME Day on 12th May this year. This new initiative aims to bring together organisations and unify efforts to raise awareness and campaign together on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). We will step closer to our goal of a world without ME through collective action.

World ME Day will build on the incredible efforts of advocates around events, such as ME Awareness Week and Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) Awareness Day. By focusing on a single day and collaborating across many organisations, we aim to maximise our collective power.

The theme for the first year of World ME Day is #LearnFromME.

2022 is set to be another year of a global health crisis that has caused a wave of post-viral disease, specifically the collection of symptoms known as “Long COVID.” For decades people with ME have been unheard of, but Long COVID has put a spotlight on this common post-viral disease. #LearnFromME will work to bring the knowledge people with ME and health professionals working in this field have to the wider world.

People with ME are experts in their own illness and experience, and most have a strong desire to be involved in research. This represents the second point of the Alliance’s aims with #LearnFromME – to highlight the woeful lack of investment in ME research across the globe. Many people with ME have now been living with the disease for over 20 or 30 years, and COVID-19 is causing a mass wave of ME diagnoses. It is only through research, by choosing to #LearnFromME, that we can find treatments and one-day cure this disease and related illnesses like Long COVID.

Action for M.E. is proud to be a partner in the World ME Day initiative. Through building our global connections we are improving the work we do for people in the United Kingdom as well as working to make the voice of people with ME heard in global institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO). Our Chief Executive Sonya Chowdhury is also Chair of the World ME Alliance, so we are leading and developing World ME Day. This campaigning day follows in the footsteps of other successful initiatives such as World Cancer Day and World MS Day. By focusing on one specific day, and sharing materials, logos and content, these campaigns have grown to have a major impact. The aim is to create a shared library of resources that all organisations can use to promote their own workaround World ME Day. This will demonstrate the incredible global collaboration and unity that the ME community can achieve.

May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) since 1992. The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

May 12th honours the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. She established the Nightingale Training School, despite being virtually bedridden with an illness resembling M.E./CFS.

The Alliance particularly wants to use this year to begin reaching out to healthcare professionals using the many personal and professional networks individuals in our community have access to.

More information will be released in the run-up to World ME Day on May 12th so that you can take action to help the world #LearnFromME.

Find out more about the campaign by visiting the homepage for World M.E Day

If your national organisation is not yet a member of the World ME Alliance, you can recommend the Alliance connects with them by visiting The World ME Alliance website.