Middle East Arthritis Foundation hosts walkathon to empower people with arthritis
Patients from across the region to walk on the journey together to increase awareness of arthritis
Dubai, UAE, 13th March 2018 – This April, the Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) is walking towards making a difference to people in the UAE living with arthritis. Supported by Dubai Municipality, Abbvie, Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Janssen, the arthritis awareness walkathon “Walk for Arthritis” is free to the public and will take place on Friday, 6th April 2018 from 7.30am at Dubai Creek Gate no 2, Umm Huriar. People are encouraged to attend and to learn factors associated with arthritis, and to walk on this journey to promoting a pain-free life. The 3.5km walkathon will feature interactive exercise sessions on pain management and movement making health a priority to people in 2018.
Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide. With the number of people aged over 50 years expected to double by 2020, the burden of musculoskeletal diseases is also expected to rise. The most common musculoskeletal conditions with the greatest impact on society are rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthritis, low back pain, osteoporosis, and limb trauma. These conditions are a leading cause of absence from work, reasons for disability pensions, and account for 20% of health utilization costs. Moreover, the economic burden from direct costs has been calculated to be between 0.7-1.5% of most countries gross domestic product.
The Middle East Arthritis Foundation has taken colossal steps to conquer this crippling disease. “Every day millions of lives are affected by arthritis and we’re ready to take a stand,” said Dr. Humeira Badsha, Founding Member of the Middle East Arthritis Foundation. “Our walk to cure arthritis celebrates our warriors, encourages group therapy and additional efforts to encourage research, resources and a cure. In the UAE, approximately one to five people are diagnosed with the condition, making it imperative that preventative measures are taken with early diagnoses.”
Sara, a 30 year-old diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) nearly six months back, joined in on the walkathon despite being on a wheelchair. She commented, “I have decided to join in and support others like me…I am keen to raise awareness about RA and show others that it is possible for patients to lead normal lives with the right treatment and attitude.”
“Our motto this year is ‘less pain and more gain’, with the aim to raise awareness about ways to prevent arthritis and to help people live a healthier and active life. We are expecting 300 participants at this year’s arthritis walkathon, making every step count towards finding a cure for the illness,” commented Sanria Khan, a patient and the Middle East Arthritis Foundation active member. “Our ‘Walk for Arthritis’ is a community gathering equipping people with more self-management tools and knowledge. It is much more than just a walk event, it’s something even bigger than arthritis itself driven by passionate patients like me. Movement of our body and mind is essential for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental state. My message is – keep moving. If you do, you’ll keep arthritis at bay. Come join us and feel the difference, and find out that you are not alone!”,“added Sanria Khan.