Participants at a walkathon organised by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), during World Arthritis Day at the Corniche, yesterday. Abdul Basit
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Arthritis is a serious public health problem with a very high prevalence affecting one in every five people, according to a medical expert.
“It is estimated that one out of five people in the community has some form of arthritis and it also influences children,” Dr Mohammed Hammoudeh, Chief of Rheumatology, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), told The Peninsula yesterday.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the observance of this year’s World Arthritis Day (WAD 2012) under the theme ‘Move to Improve’.
Arthritis comprises more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions and although it affects mostly adults, people of all ages including children can also be affected.
HMC in partnership with Janssen yesterday organised a walkathon which saw more than a hundred students, doctors and the public joined to show their sympathy to patients suffering from the chronic disease and put the message across.
“This is an expression from our side as doctors and as a community to sympathise with people who have arthritis which is so common in the public,” said Dr Hammoudeh.
Speaking on this year’s theme which is ‘Move to Improve’, he underscored the importance of movement as a therapy and that it is significant for all not just for patients.
“It promotes better function of the joints and moving significantly improves the patient’s condition rather than just sitting,” he said.
He said that arthritis is a very serious problem which is a common cause for disability.
“It can lead to disability therefore it is important to recognize it early and very important to be treated. It is also very important the patient gets support from the community and from the medical staff,” he added.
Among the common symptoms of arthritis are pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints.
The walkathon was just one of the activities in line with the celebration which culminates with a symposium to be held at the Hajar Auditorium at the HMC today from 10am to 12 noon.
Experts including a visiting doctor from the UK will deliver lectures on five topics related to arthritis including how to prevent and cope with arthritis and the importance of early detection.
Established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International, World Arthritis Day is celebrated every October 12 of the year. Its major aim is to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) amongst the medical community, people with RMDs and the general public.