Current Affairs
Between 10% and 15% of children suffer from Eczema for which currently there is no cure

There are between 10% and 15% of children in Malta suffering from Eczema for which currently there is no cure for this skin condition. On World Day dedicated to Eczema, the Malta Eczema Society has appealed to authorities to include persons suffering this condition in the list of persons entitled to benefit from free medicines.

This skin condition includes rashes, redness, inflammation, dry skin and can also lead to sleepless nights and affects between 10% and 15% of children in Malta and about 5% of adults.

Melissa Zarb, Secretary of the Society, said the condition mostly affects children but can manifest itself at any age.

She said it is calculated that Eczema sufferers spend three hours daily administering relief. It is not only the sufferers that have problems but also those who care for them, especially young toddlers. Some children suffer from birth, mainly to the age of six but others continue to suffer the condition after that age.

The condition may develop as a reaction to external elements such as metals or fragrances that react against a person’s skin. There is another type of chronic condition that is inherited.

Dr Michael Boffa, Dermatology Consultant and the President of the Malta Eczema Society, said the Society has 500 members and aims to create knowledge of the condition, including awareness of what can be done to minimise the discomfort.

Dr Boffa said the Society has been campaigning for years because Eczema is not listed as a chronic condition and therefore sufferers are not entitled to free medicines.

He said in his opinion persons suffering chronic conditions are fully entitled to free medicines and it is discriminatory that other patients also suffering skin conditions, such as psoriasis, are justly fully entitled to free medicines but Eczema sufferers are not.

Dr Boffa said that in the coming days a campaign of awareness will be launched in several pharmacies.