LAHORE - Fatima Memorial Hospital, in collaboration with Arthritis Care Foundation, organised an Arthritis awareness walk on Tuesday to mark World Arthritis Week.

The walk was held to create awareness about Arthritis as every third Pakistani suffers from some form of Rheumatic diseases. These diseases not only affect bones and joints but sometime brain, heart, lungs, eye, skin, kidneys and nerves. Today, due to great advancements in treatment, patients if diagnosed early and properly treated can be prevented from getting disabled for life.

Rheumatic diseases are the single largest cause of physical disability across the globe. The number of working days lost due to such diseases and the consequent loss to the national and the patient’s domestic economy is vast.

Health planners in Pakistan have neglected this disease and are concentrating on infectious and cardiac diseases. Meager health resources do not permit allocating funds to other ailments but through these activities ACF hopes that planners will also allocate funds for this sector.

The founders of Arthritis Care Foundation (ACF) started community services in 1998 with the establishment of Rheumatology Clinics at Akhtar Mubarik Referral Centre, Lahore, in collaboration with AFJOG and Fatima Memorial Hospital's free clinics. Fatima Memorial Hospital was founded in 1977 in Shadman, Lahore with the mission to provide quality service without discrimination to patients from all walks of life.

The core objective of the Arthritis Care Foundation is to offer assistance to non-paying patients with diagnostic tests as well as with treatment including consultations, laboratory test, radiology, medicines and latest biologic agents. ACF hopes that through activities like these in the country, public awareness of the rheumatic diseases increases resulting in early detection and the right medical care.