More support for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

October 15, 2007 1:40 PM
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Mark supports the work of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Mark Hunter, MP for the Cheadle constituency has backed efforts to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis at a meeting in the House of Commons to launch World Arthritis Day.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and disabling autoimmune disease which affects around 387,000 people of all ages in England and Wales. There are almost 12,000 new cases every year, and approximately 12,000 children under the age of 16 have the juvenile form of the disease. Those living with the condition experience a lot of pain which can contribute to feelings of isolation, stress and depression. People with RA often struggle to do everyday tasks like getting around the home, travelling, shopping and looking after children - activities which most people take for granted. Because of this, this year's theme for World Arthritis Day on 12th October, is 'the small things which matter.

Speaking at the event organised by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Mark Hunter MP said: "The small things in life really do matter but, for people with rheumatoid arthritis, even the most mundane of activities can be turned into Everyday Everests. It is important that we use the opportunity of World Arthritis Day to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the half million people in the UK with this disease.

Having met with patients, charities and clinicians, I am more convinced than ever that we must take action to help people with rheumatoid arthritis. We can start by raising awareness of this debilitating condition, promoting greater understanding amongst all health-care professionals and the public about signs and symptoms, as well as the steps which can be taken to enable those with RA to enjoy a better quality of life."

Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Mark Hunter MP has backed efforts to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis. With the support of parliamentarians like Mark, we can deliver a step change in society's awareness of rheumatoid arthritis and move further towards our vision of equity of access to excellent care for all those living with the condition."

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