AN AWARENESS campaign was recently launched by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia (SPR), the Portuguese society for rheumatology, with regard to Rheumatoid Arthritis. The campaign began on April 27 and will continue until October, the month in which World Arthritis Day is commemorated (October 12). It is the first initiative of its type to take place in Portugal.
Through this campaign, the SPR hopes to demonstrate the current situation with regard to the illness in Portugal, namely its economic costs and individual and social repercussions; to alert the general public to the signs and early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis; to urge sufferers, both existing and potential, to see a rheumatologist as early as possible and to explain the possibilities that exist for controlling and avoiding the further development of the disease, when it is correctly diagnosed at an early stage.
SPR’s secretary general, Manuela Costa, points out: “Today we know that early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and timely medical intervention are decisive factors in the control of its inflammation and for the prevention of irreversible incapacitating joint damage. Through this campaign, we are hoping to be able to diagnose a higher number of cases still in the early stage of the illness.”