May I briefly introduce some of the background information of MS in Hong Kong. The prevalence of MS in Hong Kong is not that high with around 5/100000 (with reference to one of the local cross over study done in 2008), but now there maybe 6/100000, it's estimated that there maybe around 500 cases in Hong Kong. luckily, after some hard work of our local neurologists (our Hong Kong MS society which is formed by a group of enthusiastic neurologists was set up three years ago) here, the public awareness of MS is increasing , both patients and doctors are more proactive to treat and fight against MS. And finally interferon is entitled to be reimbursed by the government since 2012, that's why more patients can get access to the early treatment.
Actually in Hong Kong there is no MS nurse in the community/ hospital settings as specialty nursing is still not that widespread in every specialty, and there is no MS clinic here as well. I am working for Merck for rebif patients nursing care, basically to provide MS education and injection training, follow up work to all the rebif patients in Hong Kong as rebif is one of the most commonly prescribed interferon here. As there is no community professional support elsewhere and the hospitals' nurses cannot cope with the patients care of MS patients in the community , the neurologists here rely quite much on my work to closely monitor the patients' disease progress and other related issues as the overwhelmed neurologists also do not have enough time to spend so much time on every patient. If the patients are prescribed with rebif, I would do all the MS education, injection training and do regular follow up, and sometimes hold some patients reunion programme for our patients to gain peer support too. I also closely cooperate with the neurologists here, and we would communicate to discuss the patients' some disease management plans, like asking the doctors to refer the patients to psychiatric support or advanced follow up, hospitalization if necessary. Our patients would always find me for advices on their disease management as we have built up rapport over my four year work here. I know I may not be expert and so helpful like our other MS nurses in other countries, but I would really try my best endeavor to support our MS patients within our capacity and ability.