A foundation that aims to create awareness about myasthenia gravis disease was launched in Windhoek over the weekend.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic auto-immune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles.

Patients with MG often experience increased physical and mental exhaustion.

Symptoms include double vision, slurred speech, weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and leg muscles, and breathing and swallowing difficulties.

The founder, Corachia Ockhuizen, has been living with MG for seven years.

Ockhuizen has been in and out of the hospital about fifty times and has landed in the ICU on many occasions.

The disease was only put under control in 2019, and this is the reason why she started the foundation.

Dr. Percy Kumire is one of the three neurologists in Windhoek, and he has taken up the case of Ockhuizen since her diagnosis.

He says people with MG do not realise they have the disease until later stages, and most are put on anti-depressant drugs, which makes their cases worse.

He therefore emphasised the need for awareness about myasthenia gravis and early diagnoses.

Patients with MG struggle with immense mental health strains.

Verona Du Preez, a social worker, says support for patients with MG is of the utmost importance.

The foundation will be hosting awareness events and raising funds for financial and medical assistance for patients.



Selima Henock