Manoel Island was lit in blue and purple on Tuesday night in an annual event organised globally by NGOs with the aim of raising awareness for three disabling illnesses: myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME, CFS) and fibromyalgia.

The Light Up the Night 2021 initiative was the work of the Gżira council in collaboration with MIDI.

ME and fibromyalgia are two distinct chronic and invisible disabilities, which roughly make up 0.2%-6% of Malta's population. An estimated 75% to 85% of these sufferers are predominantly women.

Fibromyalgia is the second most common chronic condition affecting the bones, muscles and soft tissues, causing pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, joints and tendons. An estimated 4%–6% suffer from it in Malta. 

ME is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems, leaving its sufferers completely depleted and unable to function. An estimated 0.2%–0.4% suffer from it in Malta.

Not enough is known amongst medical specialists to properly diagnose and give adequate treatments as the government refuses to acknowledge it as a disability.

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