On Friday, 12 December 2023, an important press conference was held at the Vicenza City Hall for the signing of the Charter of Rights for People with MS, a “real decalogue” of the rights of people with multiple sclerosis and other similar diseases that also applies to their family members and caregivers.
The Italian partner organisation of ShapeMS, Consulenza Direzionale di Paolo Zaramella (CDPZ), was honoured to attend the event as a guest.
The Charter consists of 10 general principles (rights) to support people with MS. Some of these, such as social inclusion, employment, education, and training, are directly related to the goals and tools of the European ShapeMS project.

Present at the signing were:

  • Matteo Tosetto, Councillor for Social Affairs of the Municipality of Vicenza;
  • Luisa Consolaro, city councilwoman with responsibility for disability;
  • Sonia Franzina, provincial president of the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association (Aism);
  • Riccardo Cagnes, provincial referent of the Italian Federation to Overcome Disabilities (Fish).

The Charter was launched in 2014 and contains 10 rights: the seven rights enshrined since 2014 (Health, Research, Self-determination, Inclusion, Work, Information, Active Participation) to which three more rights that emerged sharply from the widespread consultation have recently been added: Education and Training, Simplification, and Innovation.
The purpose of adhering to the Charter is to give strength to the principles and values it affirms so that they can take form and substance and be translated into laws, policies, practices, and concrete behaviours.

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common and severe chronic diseases of the central nervous system and is the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults. It strikes with a typical onset around age 30 and is mostly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. It can also be diagnosed in childhood and adolescence (about 5 % of cases), as well as among the elderly. People live for decades with a disease that can result in progressive disability.

The average prevalence of multiple sclerosis for Italy is estimated at around 215 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in mainland Italy, with the exception of Sardinia (estimated at around 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). In Vicenza, where CDPZ is established, there are about 1,900 known cases.

The ShapeMS partnership is pleased to see initiatives like this one, which aim to improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis, succeed.



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