Dr Maame Boatemaa Amissah-Arthur, a Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist of the Nuffield Clinic, has called on Ghanaians to undergo frequent arthritis diagnoses to save their lives and contribute to national development.
She said the disease when detected early could be managed or treated than to wait for it to become chronic before seeking medical care.
Dr Amissah-Arthur made the call at the Arthritis Awareness and Free Medical Screening organised by the Rotary Club of Accra-La East in partnership with Accra Spintex Road and the Nuffield Clinic in Accra on Saturday.
The medical screening forms part of activities marking this year’s celebration of Arthritis Awareness Day which falls on Thursday, February 2.
This year’s Arthritis Awareness Day celebration is on the theme’ Diagnose Them Early and Treat-To-Target’.
Dr Amissah-Arthur said arthritis could affect any of the joints including those in your feet, adding that joint damage from the disease can cause pain, swelling and physical changes to the joints.
She said arthritis was a general term that describes more than 100 rheumatic diseases that affected the joints.
Dr Amissah-Arthur said the main symptoms of the disease were pain and swelling in one or more joints.
‘Arthritis can be acute (sudden and short term) or chronic (gradual and long-lasting) with most types of arthritis, the joints become worn down or damaged over time’, she said, adding that, ‘this is one reason arthritis is common as people age, although there are types of arthritis that are related to other causes, including genetics’.
Dr Amissah-Arthur said the joints are covered with articular cartilage, a connective tissue that covers the surface of bones in a joint with the primary function of reducing friction during joint movement.
She said arthritis can affect one or more of the joints of your foot and that you may have symptoms in one foot or both feet, the disease will cause the joints to wear down and lose their cartilage, as a result the bones will rub against each other.
‘If you experience foot pain or find you are having gait problems, call a healthcare provider. Arthritis can cause severe pain, affect your mobility and lead to joint damage’.
‘Seek immediate medical care to rule out infection if you have a fever and any part of your foot is hot or inflamed’, Dr Ammisah-Arthur said.
Rotarian Julia Asante Anim, President of the Rotary Club of Accra-La East, said the free medical screening and the Arthritis Awareness talk forms part of Rotary’s Corporate Social Responsibilities.
She said the month of January had been dedicated by the Club as Vocational Service Month to show love and compassion to the society.
Rotary Club had been also supporting so many communities with their service Projects to help improve the standard of living of the communities and gave the assurance that the Club would continue to offer support for the many communities in the ensuing years.
Mr Albert Agbemenu, President of the Accra Spintex said the Club also partnered the other institutions to commemorate their 10th anniversary celebration.
He said over the years the Spintex club had been offering assistance to many inmates including the Amedzope, Osu and the Kumasi Prisons.
About 150 people drawn from the Osu community and its environs received free medical screening and were also registered unto the National Health Insurances Scheme (NHIS).