Plan Tackles Arthritis in Children

 

An action plan for children with arthritis has been developed by Arthritis Queensland.

The Action Plan for Queensland Children with Juvenile Arthritis (Action Plan) is timely, following news on the ABC this morning that the hospitalisation rate of children with the condition has tripled this decade.

Arthritis affects a similar number of children to Type 1 Diabetes, and can cause problems with the heart, respiratory system, nerves and eyes, as well as permanent disability.

Expenditure on juvenile arthritis cost the Australian Government $4.7 million in 2011.

“Compared with other chronic conditions in children, expenditure is significantly lower, and indicates the need for increased public and government awareness to improve the quality of life of children with juvenile arthritis and their families,” said paediatric rheumatologist Dr Navid Adib.

The Action Plan takes a detailed and multidisciplinary approach, including healthcare, education, and transitions into adult life. It is a proactive way to improve the lives of children with juvenile arthritis.

Awareness is the first priority of the plan.

“Juvenile arthritis can go unnoticed, and the risk of permanent, irreversible damage increases the longer it goes ignored and undiagnosed,” said Dr Adib on the importance of awareness.

Arthritis Queensland urges that all schools be aware of the plan.

“With school resuming next week, the time is perfect to increase awareness of this condition. With the help of the community we can dramatically improve the lives of children with arthritis,” said Helene Frayne, General Manager of Arthritis Queensland.

Dr Navid Adib is available to comment, and can be contacted on 3870 1029 during business hours and 0423 910 066 after hours

More information on Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis can be found at http://www.arthritis.org.au/page/Arthritis/ or by calling Queensland on 1800 011 041

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