More than 60 cafes are taking part in a new initiative launched by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to foster discussions about the chronic autoimmune condition and demonstrate support for those affected by it.

From May 30 to June 2, these cafes will exhibit QR codes that direct visitors to educational materials and personal accounts of individuals coping with the condition, which affects their central nervous system. Additionally, they will serve beverages in specially branded cups created by the NMSS.

The NMSS, an NGO based in the UAE, was established in 2022 under the Ministry of Community Development with the aim of enhancing the lives of individuals dealing with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and their communities in the UAE through education, advocacy, and advancing global efforts to find a cure for MS.

This endeavor seeks to raise awareness and enhance public understanding of the enduring nature of the condition, in line with various other initiatives led by the NMSS to commemorate World MS Day on May 30. By simply enjoying a cup of coffee, community members can contribute to a nationwide push for awareness and solidarity.

MS is a chronic, unpredictable condition affecting the central nervous system, leading to disruptions in the transmission of information between the brain and spinal cord. Its most prevalent symptoms include fatigue, mobility issues, dizziness, cognitive changes, loss of balance and coordination, mood alterations, and spasms, all of which can impact daily activities and quality of life, illustrating the necessity for public awareness and support.

In the UAE, approximately 19 out of every 100,000 individuals are impacted by MS, with the condition typically manifesting in young adults around the age of 26. Women are twice as likely to develop MS compared to men and constitute 67 percent of MS diagnoses in the UAE.

Early detection and treatment play a crucial role in improving long-term health and well-being. Despite the challenges, ongoing research persists in the pursuit of more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

See below for a list of the participating cafes: