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Prevention and Awareness initiatives for a better health in MAR Shopping centres

Ingka Centres' Meeting Places in Portugal are promoting screenings among communities and social partners in order to involve groups of people with limited access to preventive actions


On December 10 and 11, MAR Shopping Algarve will host lectures and awareness-raising activities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. MAR Shopping Matosinhos will provide, on December 17 and 18, awareness-raising actions aimed at the prevention of psychological illnesses such as depression, burnout or anxiety and occupational therapies for people with dementia or neurodegenerative diseases, for example. For more than a year, the MAR Shopping meeting places have provided the communities where they are located with free screenings and awareness-raising actions, aiming at the early detection of health indicators that require medical follow-up, as well as the transmission of good practices in matters of health and well-being.

Both actions will take place between 11am and 6pm and access will be on a first come, first served basis. In MAR Shopping Algarve, the action will take place near the Pharmacy and Clinic HPA (floor 0) and in MAR Shopping Matosinhos will be in a space suitable for that purpose, on floor -1, next to REFOOD.

In MAR Shopping Algarve, Myos - National Association against Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will develop an awareness action on Fibromyalgia, as well as a lecture on "Living with Fibromyalgia and / or Fatigue Syndrome/Chronic Myalgic Encephalomyelitis", by Ricardo Fonseca, president of MYOS.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by generalized and diffuse musculoskeletal pain, extreme fatigue, with sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, among other symptoms. Although Fibromyalgia can present itself in an extremely painful and disabling way, affecting the patient's quality of life, it does not cause deformity or reduce life expectancy. The complaints of Fibromyalgia vary from patient to patient and may be mild or severe, thus defining a functional spectrum ranging from mere discomfort to the inability to maintain gainful employment, domestic activities or even to enjoy socialising with family and friends, which makes the disease heterogeneous in its manifestations. It is a syndrome that generates some incomprehension, as the causes of its origin are still not well known and there are no detectable alterations in laboratory tests, nor in complementary diagnostic tests to diagnose it, which is done through the patient's clinical history and the exclusion of other diseases.

According to Myos, this disease affects men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities, statutes. It is estimated to affect around 2% to 5% of the adult population worldwide, depending on the countries, of which 80% to 90% are women between 20 and 50 years old. In Portugal, according to an EpiReuma study, it is estimated to affect 1.7% of the population, with a predominance in women over 40 years old, and another study estimates a prevalence of 3.6% of cases of fibromyalgia. There are still many cases which are not diagnosed, and many patients live with undetermined diagnosis for a long time. Portugal is one of the three European countries with the highest prevalence of Depression.



In turn, MAR Shopping Matosinhos receives in a space next to REFOOD (floor -1), on 17 and 18 December, O2a - Centre for Therapy and Development, which will develop a screening for psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, burnout and stress, among others, at a time when we are witnessing the worsening prevalence of mental illness in the population. According to the National Epidemiological Study of Mental Health, in the whole of Europe, only Northern Ireland has a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders than Portugal, where more than one fifth of people are diagnosed with this type of disorders.

The action also includes raising awareness of the importance of occupational therapy, both for people with mental and neurological disorders.

The agenda of screenings will be maintained until the end of the year and will be available and always

updated on the website of the meeting places MAR Shopping - www.marshopping.com.

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