Lack of awareness and diagnosis are some of the main challenges of arthritis, a genetic disease that affects 1 out of 5 people worldwide.
Today, October 12, it is World Arthritis Day, when rheumatologists aim to bring awareness to people in the UAE.
On Friday, free check-ups and a range of activities were held in Shangri La Hotel in a community event organised by the Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF).
“People tend to think that arthritis only affects older people. However, there are 100 forms of arthritis affecting people of different age and gender,” said Humeira Badsha, consultant rheumatologist and board member of the MEAF.
Arthritis is a joint disorder involving the inflammation of one or more joints, resulting in permanent pain.
Arthritis can affect children as young as 6 months old, Badsha explained.
There is a condition called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is not easily signalled by parents.
“When the child cries excessively, does not tend to move one a leg or arm and cries when you touch that part of the body, this may be a sign of juvenile arthritis.”
According to the rheumatologist, 1 per cent of children suffer from this disease.
It is key that this is diagnosed at an early stage so that joint damage can be prevented.