Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron highlighted the work of NHS Western Isles during a parliamentary debate into the effects of Lyme disease in Scotland.
The Western Isles account for more confirmed cases of Lyme disease than any other part of the UK and it is more prevelant in the Uists, particularly in grasslands populated by deer.
Between 2010 and 2013, there were 33 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the Western Isles, with around 6 confirmed cases in 2016 along. The UK national average is 1,200 cases.
The debate focussed on the need to improve public awareness of Lyme disease and ensure that more GPs are able to spot the early signs of it in order to increase earlier diagnosis.
In his speech, Donald Cameron MSP said:
“I welcome the seriousness with which this issue is being taken by NHS Western Isles and indeed I welcome the actions that they are pursuing to raise public awareness.
They have developed and implemented an awareness campaign which they launched in South Uist in March this year and resources have been sent to businesses, shops, GP practices and other locations. Information packs have also been sent to schools which is also crucial so that our young people are aware and able to deal with any potential tick bites early and safely.
It is vital that we continue to support such efforts in looking to lower the incidence of Lyme disease in Scotland.”