So here we are. The very first Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week in the UK has begun and we start it off with the launch of our new report titled Breaking Down Barriers: Public Awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This report was informed by a survey of over 2,000 members of the public, carried out by ComRes on behalf of NRAS, which aimed to see what the general attitude was towards the disease.
The results were predictable – people really do not fully understand what the disease is and the affect it can have on a person’s life. Only a third of respondents understood the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and only 41% of respondents stated they understood the symptoms. This is quite shocking when you consider the urgency of getting people referred, diagnosed and started on treatment, all within twelve weeks of symptom onset in order to have the best chance of achieving remission.
Have a read of the report here and let us know what you think.
So what can we do about it? We have set up an e-petition so you can bring to the attention of our politicians the issues we have raised in the report. It is the politicians who may be in a position to make a difference to the lives of those affected by RA, and they are accountable to you the voter.
But it is not just down to politicians to make a difference, it is also down to you. Over the course of the next week we will be publishing plenty more content – infographics, video and written articles. Please make sure you share these and help spread the message that our week is themed on – rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age!
If you’re on facebook or twitter and have not signed up to the NRAS Thunderclap then please do so now, it’s not too late and will really help us spread our message on social media.
Campaigning is a major part of the work carried out by NRAS with our two Government Affairs Officers – Jamie Hewitt and Leo Watson – continually lobbying on behalf of the 690,000 people across the UK who have RA. Our mission is a better life for those affected by rheumatoid arthritis and Jamie and Leo work hard to ensure that people have access to the right treatment and that this access is fair and equal all across the country.
If you’d like to find out more about campaigning opportunities at NRAS then follow the link: nras.org.uk/campaign/how_ca...