In the last academic year, there were about 270 primary and secondary students in Norway who did not participate in education due to chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), newspaper Aftenposted reported Tuesday.
The statistics, delivered by Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Service, refer to the cases in which the parents of the absent children named ME as the main reason for skipping school.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has expressed deep concern that hundreds of children and young people lose education opportunities because they are affected by ME.
Solberg said that there was a reason to believe that the numbers were higher because of the lack of reporting.
“As a parliament member I met many patients with ME,” she said, adding that many were sad and frustrated because they felt that the community did not take them seriously.
The prime minister believed that ME affects entire families with vulnerable patients who have different needs.
In total there were 1,877 absent students for more than three months in the previous school year. A total of 735 had other diagnosis than ME and 873 had unknown diagnosis.
Solberg believed both young people and their families need a better service so that they do not fall out of school and education.
“It is important that we learn more about the reason why they get sick and what can make them healthy again,” she added.
She said the government will give priority to three measures within the state budget: national and international research, close interaction during the treatment and better opportunity for nursing care through the new care benefit scheme.
The Norwegian government has given 38 million kroner (4.57 million U.S. dollars) to a pilot project that will look at how it can be avoided that ME patients get lost in the system and can get diagnosis and proper follow-up as quickly as possible. Enditem