Arthritis awareness campaign for women

ABU DHABI — Every woman, young and old, is susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis. In the UAE, there could be at least 19,500 women who have the disease but not aware of it. This was stated by Dr Nadia Rashid Al Mazroui, deputy director for Medical Services at the Zayed Military Hospital.

By Nada S. Mussallam (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 8:43 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:54 PM

Al Mazroui said this as Women’s Initiative for Rheumatoid Arthritis (WIRA), a two-year programme, was launched yesterday under the patronage of the Ministry of Health, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, the Emirates Arthritis Foundation and the UAE Rheumatology Club.

This network of women has been launched in the capital to spread awareness on the dangers of the disease and the importance of early diagnosis to avert lifelong disability.

Launched at the Hilton Hotel, Abu Dhabi, WIRA will prove of great help to women who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but have not been diagnosed yet, said Huda Al Suwaidi, a family medicine consultant from the Ministry of Health.

“WIRA hopes to address the need to spread awareness of rheumatoid arthritis in the UAE,” Al Suwaidi said yesterday during the launch of the awareness drive.

Explaining the seriousness of the disease, Dr Walid Al Shehi, a consultant rheumatologist, said the chronic disease can cause serious disability, including severely affecting joints on both sides of the body. “It can also affect the functioning of organs like the lungs, kidneys and even arteries of patients. Early diagnosis and early corrective treatment can prevent, and even reverse, such complications,” he noted.

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