International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases is observed across the world on May 12. Since 1992, this date has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases. It marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale — the creator of ‘modern nursing.’ Early detection, sensitivity to the disease, reduced feelings of isolation in patients, and prejudice due to ignorance are all benefits of disease awareness. It also facilitates policy reforms and research. The medical community hopes to raise awareness about a variety of disorders that fall under the “Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases” (CIND) umbrella by commemorating this day.
History of International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
Tom Hennessy Jr., an acclaimed advertisement executive, suffered from a severe case of ME/ CFS. When he discovered the lack of awareness and knowledge about the disease, he decided to designate May 12 as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases.
After being inspired by Florence Nightingale’s story, Hennessy chose her birthday to commemorate the occasion. Florence Nightingale was a nurse in the army, a philanthropist, and the founder of modern nursing. While serving in the army, she acquired ME/CFS and spent the rest of her life bedridden. Tom had also founded an organization called “RESCIND”— Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases. There is little understanding about the diseases falling under Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases and often go unrecognized for a long time. “RESCIND” brought these diseases with commonalities under one umbrella and helped raise awareness.
Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Gulf War Syndrome. Other diseases recognized on this day include Alzheimer’s, Addison’s, Parkinson’s, etc. People with Immunological and Neurological diseases suffer from joint and muscle pain, cognitive disorder, sleep disorder, poor stamina, etc. Except for palliative care, there is no cure for these diseases. These diseases often go without a diagnosis for a long time due to a lack of awareness.
International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases timeline
Edward Jenner is dubbed the ‘Father of Immunology’ because of his extensive research and development of the smallpox vaccine.
Parkinson’s disease is first described as a neurological ailment by James Parkinson.
Paul Ehrlich — a German physician and scientist who worked in the fields of hematology, immunology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy — is awarded a "Nobel Prize" for his contributions to immunology.
Tom Hennessy Jr. designates May 12 as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases.
International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases FAQs
What are immunological illnesses?
This immunological disease is a condition induced by the immune system being overactive or underactive. The immune system either over-activates or fails to fight disease-causing microorganisms (low activity).
Can a blood test detect neurological problems?
Different sorts of tests are advised for various symptoms. Toxins and disease-causing proteins are detected in the body utilizing blood and urine samples.
What causes Gulf War syndrome?
Soldiers are frequently exposed to chemical weapons on the battlefield, such as tear gas, which can lead to Gulf War syndrome later in life.
How to Observe International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
Raise awareness on this matter
Every effort, big or small, counts! Make posters, wear awareness t-shirts, or put together a panel of speakers and lecturers. Make an effort to raise CIND awareness in your neighborhood.
Donate towards this cause
Many organizations across the world help people suffering from diseases categorized under CIND. Choose a foundation of your liking and donate whatever is in your capacity.
Sensitivity and care
Make sure to assist anyone you know who is suffering from CIND. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and urge others to do the same.
5 Facts About Chronic Immunological And Neurological Diseases
Early diagnosis is difficult
These diseases have a wide range of symptoms, making early detection challenging.
Some people are more susceptible
Some ethnicities are more susceptible to certain diseases.
There is no real known cause
Despite extensive research, no apparent cause of these diseases has been found yet.
There are flares and remissions
Most Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases undergo periods of flares and remissions where either of the phases can last from days to years.
There’s no cure
There is no cure for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases but with proper care and medication, the quality of the patient’s life can be improved significantly.
Why International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases is Important
More than one billion people — 23 million in America — suffer from chronic immunological and neurological diseases, with diagnosis taking an average of four years. Patients will receive early treatment if they are aware of the condition.
Sensitivity towards patients
Because of their impairment, people with these disorders frequently feel alienated from social networks. This day aims to raise awareness about the disease and increase society's acceptance of those who suffer from it.
Perfect time for travel
Tom Hennessy said that when he had the idea of founding this day, he looked for a day that is easier for CIND patients to travel, neither too hot nor too cold. The intention was to make it easy for people with ailments to step out for the awareness programs.
International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases dates