The awareness day on rheumatoid arthritis disease organised by the Kuwait Association of Rheumatology on 1 February 2014 at the 360 Mall in Kuwait was hailed as a big success following the strong and positive response from the huge crowd that gathered at the venue.
With an aim raising further awareness about the disease to as many people as possible, the one-day event held from 3 to 7 pm, which was open to the public, clearly achieved such goal as participants expressed positive reviews on the event and went home better informed about the subject. Aside from the huge crowd, also present were officials and representatives of the Ministry of Health of Kuwait as well as corporate sponsors who were likewise all praises on the success of the event.
A brief program ushered in the event as the presence of officials and VIPs from the Ministry of Health, the association and the sponsors were acknowledged. Following a brief message from the minister, Prof. Adel Al Awadhi, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACR; Professor of Medicine and Rheumatology; Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University; Head of Rheumatic Disease Unit, Amiri Hospital; and President of Kuwait Association of Rheumatology also delivered his speech.
Due to the significance of the event, strong support also came from some of the biggest names in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, such as Newbridge Pharmaceuticals – a first-in-class, venture-backed specialty therapeutics company; Abbvie – a global biopharmaceutical company; Roche – a pioneering innovator of products and services in healthcare; and Pfizer – the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. After the brief opening ceremony, participants were then guided into special areas for the public to get general information about rheumatoid arthritis disease. There, they also learned how the disease can be discovered and get early treatment.
Another area focused on patients already inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis disease, where experts provided further information on how to control their disease in a better way. Being a fun-filled yet highly educational and informative event, a special area was also designated for kids. There was also a photo wall and four major raffle draws with valuable gifts for lucky participants.
“We are extremely delighted that such an important event that is aimed at further educating the public about rheumatoid arthritis disease received such a tremendous response from the public,” Prof. Adel Al Awadhi said. “At the same time, the success of this event would not have been made possible without the full support and assistance of the Ministry of Health of Kuwait as well as our generous sponsors. This kind of events must be sustained in order to reach out to even more people in Kuwait,” he added. “Thus, with the unwavering commitment of the association towards such endeavour, and encouraged by the strong and continued support and assistance from the government of Kuwait, specifically through the Ministry of Health, as well as the sponsors, we are definitely looking forward to organising and holding another one soon,” he concluded.
Rheumatoid arthritis happens to around 1% of the adult population, and more common to women on a ratio of 3:1. Further study shows that 90% of patients inflicted with the disease have developed some form of disability within two decades of onset if they do not receive proper medical treatment. As an inflammatory, autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is a condition whereby the body starts attacking its joints causing pain, inflammation and joint stiffness especially in the morning. In the long-term, this disease causes damage to the cartilage, tendons and ligaments, and can even wear away the ends of bones thereby causing joint deformity and disability.
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Amna Al Jarery/ Laila Al Tarawnah
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