Patient awareness to help ease arthritis burden in Middle East

Top Quote Insurance companies, healthcare policy makers and patients under one roof at Rheumatology Congress. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 23, 2010 - Dubai, UAE - It is estimated that 20 per cent of the UAE population suffer from some sort of arthritis in their life time, but many are still and may remain, undiagnosed. The key to increasing awareness of arthritis and to enable the people who suffer with this crippling disease to get proper treatment is through education, expert support, and raising public awareness about the disease.

    "Through our patient awareness sessions we are looking to enable those who have arthritis to deal with and understand their condition to enable them to live a relatively normal life," says Katrina Thornely, Patient Support Director, Emirates Arthritis Foundation (EAF). EAF will be running an open forum discussion at the Emirates Rheumatology Conference, with the focus on patient awareness.

    Organised by IIR Middle East, the 3rd Annual Rheumatology Exhibition and Congress will be held from 10 - 12 of October, 2010, at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel, Dubai.

    "Arthritis is a life altering disease, however, through early detection and intervention we can prevent deformity and suffering," continues Ms. Thornely. "The EAF works closely with the Emirates Society of Rheumatology (ESR), as they are key to our development of our Arthritis Community which we are developing."

    According to Dr Waleed Al Shehhi, Consultant rheumatologist, Suliman Al Habib and Al Biraa Centre and President of the Emirates Society for Rheumatology (ESR) "at present, 75 per cent of people over the age of 55 have some form of osteoarthritis (also known as wear and tear arthritis), but only 50 per cent of those who suffer from it actually complain. Nowadays, increasing numbers of younger people develop osteoarthritis as the sedentary life style increases. This obesity plague is striking down young kids and adults alike."

    The Patient Awareness forum will run in English and Arabic simultaneously from 6pm to 9pm on 12th October, 2010, and experts will be looking at Lupus, biologic treatments, nutrition, Oriental medicine and Thai Chi.

    The Emirates Rheumatology Conference will also be running a free to attend forum for insurance companies to reduce the burden of arthritis. This forum will run from 9am to 12pm on 12th October, 2010. With medications costing up to AED 80,000, the purpose of this forum is to help mobilise insurance companies and healthcare policy makers to find an answer to help those living with arthritis.

    Mary Cifaldi is director of Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research at Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Illinois, U.S.A. She will be discussing the benefits of early treatment with biologics, for the disease activity and implications.
    Trade visitors have unlimited access to the exhibition from 8.30am to 5.30pm and participation at the Insurance Company Debate and Patient Awareness Forum is free.

    For more information about the Emirates Rheumatology Conference please call +971 4 407 2743 or visit

    About IIR Middle East:
    For more information about IIR Middle East, please visit

    About Emirates Arthritis Foundation:
    For more information about EAF, please visit

    About Emirates Society for Rheumatology:
    For more information about ESR, please visit

    For media enquiries please contact:
    Inga Stevens
    PR Manager
    Life Science Division
    IIR Middle East
    T: +971 4 407 2743
    F: +971 4 336 4021
    inga.stevens ( @ ) iirme dot com

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