On Tuesday evening, Kenneth hosted a Parliamentary reception to mark Endometriosis Awareness Week which runs from 04-10 March.
The speakers were Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Mental Health; Emma Cox, Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK, Kenneth and Monica Lennon MSP, Convenor of the Cross-party Group on Women’s Health, which Kenneth is a member of.
The event brought together endometriosis sufferers, clinicians, women’s health campaigners, and MSPs, giving them the opportunity to discuss how Scotland can ensure that the estimated 150,000 Scottish women affected by this condition receive the support they deserve.
Kenneth began the event by describing the considerable progress which has been made since 2001 when he first spoke about endometriosis in Parliament. In recent years he has led a Holyrood debate on the issue and successfully campaigned for the establishment of an Accredited Specialist Endometriosis Unit in the West of Scotland, to improve access to diagnosis and treatment for women in North Ayrshire and beyond.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP discussed the new West of Scotland Unit, which will open in Glasgow next month and provide multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art, high-quality and person-centred treatment for the management of all grades of endometriosis. She furthermore confirmed that Scotland has already adopted new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on the diagnosis and management of endometriosis, to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals. This aims to reduce diagnostic delays by highlighting the symptoms of endometriosis to doctors, such as pelvic pain, painful periods, and subfertility.
Emma Cox spoke on behalf of endometriois sufferers and thanked Kenneth for:
“The tremendous work he has undertaken over many years on behalf of endometriosis sufferers. Work which is important not just for Scotland but the UK.”
“Scotland has the potential to become a world leader in endometriosis treatment. The research being carried out by Professor Andrew Horne at the Edinburgh University Centre for Reproductive Health which could lead to new drug treatments that will block the development and progression of this often debilitating condition.”
Monica Lennon MSP concluded by congratulating the other speakers and most importantly the inspirational endometriosis and menstrual justice campaigners on their success in raising awareness of endometriosis and fighting for it to become a public health priority. The CPG in Women’s Health has provided a vital forum for endometriosis sufferers to raise their needs with politicians and experts from the medical and research fields, and will continue to do so.
On Monday, Kenneth lodged a Parliamentary motion marking Endometriosis Awareness Week.