The walk was held to create public awareness of Arthritis as one in every third Pakistani suffers from some form of Rheumatic diseases. These diseases not only affect the bones and joints but can also involve any organ system of the body including the brain, heart, lungs, eye, skin, kidneys and nerves.
They affect all age groups including children and both men and women. Today, due to great advancements in treatment of Arthritis related illnesses 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.
Thus far, the health planners in Pakistan have neglected this field in favour of concentrating on infectious and cardiac diseases. Meager health resources do not permit allocating funds to other ailments but through these activities ACF hopes that in the future planners will also allocate funds to this sector.
The founders of Arthritis Care Foundation (ACF) started community their services in 1998 in Pakistan with the establishment of Rheumatology Clinics at Akhtar Mubarik Referral Centre, Lahore, in collaboration with AFJOG and Fatima Memorial Hospital’s free clinics. These services were expanded to collaborate with the Health project of Behbud Association, Lahore, in 2005.
Fatima Memorial Hospital, a not for profit 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.