Between one and four per thousand children in South Africa are estimated to have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The numbers are small relative to the overall population of children, but big enough that most schools will have at least one pupil with the disease. JIA is misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and often just missed entirely. School staff are ideally positioned to identify early symptoms and support children in reaching their full potential despite the disease.

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions and other information about JIA. Our team of volunteers are available to conduct staff information sessions either via video or in person. Click here to schedule one for your school.

In a nutshell

A child with JIA can participate in school and sports but may need specific support depending on how the disease affects them.

The symptoms of juvenile arthritis are often invisible, but children might be in pain, battling with stiff joints, or suffering from fatigue. They may also be feeling the side effects of their medication. Just because you can’t see the disease, don’t mean it’s not there.

Juvenile arthritis can affect children physically, emotionally and mentally.