Awareness of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is understandably low among the general population. Unfortunately, this is also true for people who interact with children regularly, including teachers, sports coaches, and even some GPs, paediatricians, and allied health professionals like physiotherapists.
To find, diagnose and treat JIA, we first need to address this lack of awareness.
We speak on behalf of JIA patients and their families when they can’t. 25% of children with JIA will be resistant to standard treatments and will require an advanced medication called a biologic to manage their disease effectively; this is currently almost impossible in the public sector. Adding biologics to the Essential Medicines Lists across the country is a crucial advocacy project.
Other projects include engaging government to train additional paediatric rheumatologists and ensuring better access to essential allied healthcare services (i.e. physiotherapy).
Arthritis Kids SA works to enable patients and parents to navigate their new reality and to access support within communities and schools. We do this by compiling and supplying relevant information and through digital and real-life support channels.
Supported families don’t feel alone and are better able to cope emotionally and mentally.
Our daily interaction with children affected by this disease fuels our commitment to achieving our objectives.