2017, Number 1
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ABSTRACTBackground: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a very serious, highly debilitating and costly disease. The medical management of MS is complex and in regions and countries with relatively limited health care systems and reduced financial resources, the impact of MS on individuals and society can be alarming.
Method: To better understand the issues related to MS management in Central America and the Caribbean, a group of experts from the Region and nearby countries were assembled to assess the status of MS and provide recommendations to government, organizations and practitioners.
Results: Based on an extensive review of the literature and their personal experiences, the Panel concluded that surveillance and epidemiology efforts within and between each country in Central America and the Caribbean needs substantial improvement and that MS is clearly mis- or undiagnosed to a great extent in the Region. Also, there is a need for comprehensive pharmacovigilance programs, better continuing education programs for clinicians and out-reach to communities, and the development of clinical guidelines relevant to the Region that stress the internationally accepted criteria to diagnosis MS, and its progression and treatment. In addition, the availability and appropriate use of approved medications, and more community-based, publicservice programs focused on MS are also urgently needed.
Conclusions: Medical societies and government should devote more resources toward educating health professionals and the public on all aspects of MS, and government should provide and support all necessary and well-grounded treatments.
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