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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Healthcare | Sunday 23 February, 2020 1:24 pm |

A community powered walkathon to create awareness on arthritis witnessed a huge participation

The Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) today announced the successful conclusion of its nationwide community walkathon titled ‘2020 Walk for Arthritis’ aimed at creating awareness within the society about the debilitating disease and empowering the community with tools for a smooth reintegration into the society. 

The family-friendly event with a 3.5km walk along the Dubai Creek Park held with the support from Dubai Municipality witnessed participation from more than 1000 community members to show their support for people suffering from this lifelong disease, break myths and create greater awareness about this condition and treatment routines.

Dr. Humeira Badsha, Consultant Rheumatologist and Founding Member of MEAF, said “Recent studies have shown, in the UAE alone there is a delay in diagnosis of 12 months due to lack of awareness. This walkathon organised by the Middle East Arthritis Foundation is viewed as a critically important event to create one strong voice and inform the community members to look out for symptoms and consult a doctor as soon as the symptoms occur.”

“The walkathon is an important awareness initiative as we continue to fight Arthritis. With early diagnosis and right treatment as well as an exercise programme in place the deformity and disability can be prevented,” added Dr. Badsha.

This walkathon also helped the foundation meet new advocates who will help increase the impact of such events and help with raising awareness to support for the research to find altering treatments and a cure. Across the globe, approximately 350 million people have arthritis, leaving them struggling to carry out routine tasks, affecting their jobs, their financial resources, or their relationships with family and friends. 

Sanria Khan, an active member of the Middle East Arthritis Foundation and the lead organiser of the event, “It is such a pleasure to see the community members unifying for an event and understand the predicament of those affected by arthritis. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners across the UAE such as Janssen, Pfizer, Abbvie, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Company, Fitness First, Dans, Haul Ways Transport along with students from various schools and universities that actively participated and supported the awareness campaign to fight for a future that is pain-free.”

“Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 15 was a daunting experience, but one that was made more manageable with a fantastic support network and the right treatment plan. As I learnt about and attended events such as the Walkathon over the years, I got to meet others that were going through the same experiences as me, which is something that is greatly reassuring. MEAF’s initiative in building this extensive network of patients, caregivers, and medical experts is a very important one that I am sure empowers many others like me to deal with our conditions as best as we can, with a smile on our faces!” commented Anahita, a patient and the Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) active member.

Along with the walk, the foundation organized lots of family-themed fun-filled activities during the day, making it a complete family event while supporting a good cause. Kids and adults alike were entertained to a dance performance, a super-hero themed fancy-dress competition and fitness activities with exciting prizes to win and a lot more.  

The Middle East Arthritis Foundation supports people of all ages living with arthritis and will hold several events over 2020 to raise awareness for the management and treatment of this life-changing chronic condition. 

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