(PRESS RELEASE) – The Saint Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association (SLALA) joined with the rest of the world in raising awareness of arthritis throughout the month of October.
The Association undertook a number of activities throughout the month which included a Church Service at the Streams of Power Ministries, store displays by co-operate entities and culminated with an appearance by Consultant Rheumatologist, Dr Amanda King, on the popular weekly TV show, Health Wise.
World Arthritis Day, observed universally on October 12th, seeks to expand the conversation on arthritis; one of the most common diseases in the world. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints that can cause debilitating joint pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of one or more joints.
There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and related conditions and affects a vast cross section of the population – from the very young to the very old. Some of the most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Juvenile arthritis (JA), Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and Gout.
On Saturday, October 12th the Association held a bake sale in the William Peter Boulevard, Castries as well as undertook a half day public education campaign where information was provided to the general public on arthritis, treatment and management options available to persons. The education campaign continued with a television appearance by Consultant Rheumatologist and Internist, Dr Amanda King, on HTS’ television program-Health Wise, hosted by Dr. Merle Clarke; President of the St Lucia Medical and Dental Association . The topic for the night was focused on Rheumatoid Arthritis but also included a general discussion on the wide range of arthritic conditions that can significantly impact many other Rheumatologic conditions such as Lupus and Fibromyalgia.
“We want to change the misconceptions that arthritis is something that only affects old people and that there is nothing we can do about,” said SLALA President, Germinia Joseph, “this is why our public awareness campaigns are such an important part of what the Association does as well as our continued focus on our hallmark Viv Byen Self Management Program”.
The SLALA Chronic Disease Self Management Program formerly renamed Viv Byen, is a 6 week workshop involving the commitment to meeting in small groups for a 2 1/2 hr period. These workshops are geared at educating persons on self management skills such as action planning, healthy communication, exercise and pain management and also the opportunity to interact with their peers. SLALA encourages the public to engage in this program and the association which serves many beneficial purposes.
The causes and treatment options available vary from one type of arthritis to another. To find the best treatment and management strategies, it’s important to determine the type of arthritis you have. For more information about Arthritis, Viv Byen and the Saint Lucia Arthritis & Lupus Association call us at 459-0092/486-7000 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday , 9am-3pm) or email [email protected] We are also available via Whatsapp and Facebook.