If you’re reading this, then it’s probably because a child close to you has been diagnosed with a type of juvenile arthritis. Most people are surprised to learn that children can get arthritis, and almost all feel overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take in!

We want to start by assuring you that you are not alone; many South African families are already connected and supporting each other. We also want to remind you that this disease responds well to treatment and can be controlled; many children outgrow it, and many others enjoy long periods of remission.

The information on this website was researched and written by moms of juvenile arthritis patients in consultation with three Johannesburg-based paediatric rheumatologists. We hope to give you a better sense of the world you have entered.

Snapshot of JIA

Your child has an autoimmune disease which means that the system designed to protect their body has gone rogue and is attacking it instead.

The cause of juvenile arthritis is unknown. It also has no known cure. It is treated by managing inflammation and suppressing immune responses.

JIA responds well to early treatment.

Non-treatment can result in irreversible damage to joints and other parts of the body.

Call your child’s doctor if:

Parent resources

Children’s JIA story book

 from the Irish Children’s Arthritis Network

WORD Day 2021 webinars

WORD Day is a global initiative that aims to raise awareness of juvenile rheumatic diseases. Click here to view two webinars featuring medical specialists, parents, and children affected by rheumatic diseases.

Cassie + friends

This Canadian charity has a brilliant collection of “evidence-based virtual education seminars to help families affected by peadiatric rheumatic diseases learn how to navigate life with a chronic condition.” Look out for the one on methotrexate if you’re new to this drug.

Red Cross Children’s
Hospital podcast

An interview with the delightful 8-year-old Mika, her mom, and her paediatrician. Mika has juvenile idiopathic arthritis and lives in Cape Town.

Other patient organisations from around the world