News and Events

The Urgency of Treating Neuromuscular Conditions in Wartime

Publication Date: 10/23/2023 8:00 AM

The recent war is presenting serious challenges for thousands of displaced Israelis, particularly those dealing with chronic and neuromuscular diseases. With the disruption in their healthcare monitoring and the need for timely medical care, Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, has emerged as a beacon of hope in this crisis.

Dr. Shahar Shelly. Photography: Rambam HCC.Dr. Shahar Shelly. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Thousands of residents in northern and southern Israel have been forced to evacuate their homes for their safety. Many have found themselves grappling with chronic diseases that demand ongoing monitoring and treatment. Among these conditions are neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), muscular dystrophy, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, spinal muscular atrophy, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, all of which require continuous follow-up and medical attention.

Dr. Shahar Shelly, head of Rambam’s Neuromuscular Disease Clinic and Clinical Electrophysiology in the Department of Neurology, an accomplished neurologist and researcher, explains his response to this critical medical need, “We understand the immediate urgency in responding to these complex medical conditions. We have mobilized our medical and nursing staff and are ready to help those affected by the current circumstances.” Dr. Shelly emphasizes the immediate urgency in responding to the complex medical conditions faced by those displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict. In recognition of this urgency, Rambam Health Care Campus has mobilized its dedicated medical and nursing staff, who are prepared and committed to providing vital medical care and support to individuals with neuromuscular conditions.

Rambam’s Neuromuscular Diseases Clinic diagnoses and treats acquired or genetic diseases of the peripheral nervous system, muscles, and the neuro-muscular junction. Among the diseases treated in the clinic, some are rare and complex and range from peripheral nerve and neuromuscular disease (such as neuropathies and myasthenia gravis) to degenerative muscle diseases and other nerve-based muscular conditions.

Since time is of the essence for these patients, Dr. Shelly suggests that patients relocated to Northern Israel contact Rambam’s Neuromuscular Diseases Clinic by sending an email to [email protected]. After assessing each patient’s condition and unique needs, a Rambam representative will follow up with them.

Rambam Health Care Campus remains unwavering in its commitment to its patients, the general public affected by the ongoing conflict, and its dedicated hospital staff. Their well-being is of paramount importance. Despite the challenging circumstances, the hospital continues to prioritize the continuity of care, outpatient services, and elective surgeries as long as the region remains relatively peaceful. Moreover, Rambam has implemented unique programs to support its staff during these trying times. These programs range from providing assistance with childcare to offering counseling services and online courses for stress management.

We at Rambam have this final word of advice for you: If you or someone you know has been displaced because of the war, do not ignore your medical condition. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Stay safe and stay well!