Drive to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis

DUBAI - The Women's Initiative for Rheumatoid Arthritis (WIRA), will be distributing educational information on the ailment to visitors at the Mall of the Emirates until May 10.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Mon 5 May 2008, 7:05 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:56 PM

The campaign will continue at the Mercato Mall from May 14 to 24 under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Health, Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Arthritis Foundation and the UAE Rheumatology Club.

Speaking on behalf of the initiative, WIRA spokesperson Dr Nadia Rashid Al Mazroui said, "We strongly believe that the best way to educate the community at large, not just women, about the dangerous and crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis, is to hold public events like this. Women are often unaware that what might seem like normal aches and pains in their hands and feet can often be much more serious. Our goal is to reach these women and help them seek medical assistance before it's too late."

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, affecting women more frequently than men, in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. In RA this leads to progressive joint and tissue damage and can affect the eyes and other organs.

Dr Jamal Al Saleh, consultant rheumatologist and head of Rheumatology Unit, Dubai Hospital, explained, "Rheumatoid arthritis usually causes problems in several joints at the same time. Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the smaller joints first - the joints in your wrists, hands, ankles and feet."

"RA can have tremendous impact on not only the sufferers but also their families and the society at large. Disability from RA causes a major economic impact, thus the great need to raise awareness and educate the public, especially women," concluded Dr Al Mazroui.

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