2nd February - Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Awareness Day
The launch of the campaign "Small things are of great importance" on the occasion of Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Awareness Day was announced today, at the conference hall of Medical University "Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov "- Varna. This is an initiative of the Association of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Organization of Patients with Rheumatic Diseases in Bulgaria, and it is conducted in partnership with Medical University – Varna, St. Marina University Hospital - Varna and Varna Municipality. The initiative aims to raise the public awareness of the severity of rheumatic diseases and the importance of early diagnosis.
The campaign in Varna was launched at a press conference, attended by Dr. Vanyo Sharkov - Deputy Minister of Health, Prof. Dr. Radoslav Radev - Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at MU-Varna and President of the Bulgarian Medical Association - Varna, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kadinov - Head of the Clinic of Rheumatology at St. Marina University Hospital - Varna, Dr. Svetla Staneva - Director of RHI-Varna, Mrs. Roza Cheglayska - President of the Association of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Mr. Todor Raykov - regional manager of the Association.
The press conference was opened by Prof. Dr. Radoslav Radev, who drew the attention to the fact that "small things are of great importance". Prof. Radev addressed the audience with the words: "Hurrying through our daily life, we do not pay attention to small things. The aim of this campaign, the aim of the Association, the aim of the University, of the University Hospital and the Ministry of Health is exactly this, to show that this disease is not a small thing, that it is severe, causing disability, suffering and disturbance of the normal life cycle of each patient."
"I think that today the most essential thing is not to report our activities. The idea of the campaign is much greater than just saying that people have a problem in their daily lives, it makes us turn to the humanity in ourselves, to be aware of what is going on with people suffering from rheumatic diseases, to be more tolerant. I declare the willingness of the Ministry of Health to work hand in hand with the patient organizations in the name of a better life for the people with this disease," said Dr. Vanyo Sharkov, Deputy Minister of Health.
According to Assoc. Prof. Vladimir Kadinov - Head of the Clinic of Rheumatology at St. Marina University Hospital – Varna, it is "criminal in the 21st century, when innovative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is already available, patients to reach the stage of disability and to suffer constant pain. Provided the disease is diagnosed in time, the prognosis is rather optimistic. Nowadays there are plenty of modern and adequate drugs by means of which the disease can be put under control, and consequently remission occurs. There are lots of people with rheumatoid arthritis who live with swollen fingers, constant pain and believe that this is a result of their age. Actually, rheumatoid arthritis affects people of working age, predominantly women aged between 35 and 55 years suffer from it. People suffer from pain. They go around to various specialists before finally finding a rheumatologist, who can determine the correct diagnosis."
"Not many of us have ever imagined what it really means to be unable to tie your trainers because your spine is stiff from Bechterew's disease, or what it means for a woman never again to be able to put on high heel shoes. What it really means not to be able to eat with a spoon anymore because your joints are bent. All these sensations are part of the everyday life of people with rheumatic diseases. I would like to tell the patients that the better acquainted with arthritis they are and the more positive attitude they have, the more successful their fight with the disease will be"- said Roza Cheglayska, President of the Association of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of joints. 60 000 people suffer from this disease in our country. The diseased experience joint pain, stiffness and swelling, sometimes this leads to permanent joint damage and disability.
In order to raise public awareness and show the real severity of arthritic diseases, the organizers have placed in Varna sculptures representing three giant everyday objects – a spoon, shoelaces and a woman's shoe. They symbolize the activities that are beyond the abilities of people with rheumatic diseases. The sculpture of the spoon is located in the Sea Garden, the one of the shoe - in St. Marina University Hospital and that of the shoelaces is in the courtyard of the Medical University. The sculptures will be exhibited for a month so that more people can see them and join the campaign, which will run simultaneously in facebook.com/Hug.with.soul
As part of the campaign to combat rheumatoid arthritis the Clinic of Rheumatology at St. Marina University Hospital - Varna will open its doors for free examinations of patients with rheumatic diseases.
All patients willing to be examined free of charge by a specialist will be able to do it on 5th February 2015, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, on 7th floor, at room 703. The specialists of the Clinic will examine according to the following schedule:
- Dr. Silviya Kutsarova - from 08:00 am to 10:00 am.,
- Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kadinov - from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm,
- Dr. Snezhanka Goreva - from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm,
- Dr. Svetoslav Dimitrov - from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
The registration in advance for an examination by a selected by you specialist will be done by the technical secretary of the Clinic, Telephone: 052/978310.
It is desirable that patients bring all medical documents related to their disease. For further enquiries, please contact Dr. Silviya Kutsarova, Telephone: 052/978278.
Rheumatic diseases represent a wide range of articular and extra-articular diseases. The main group among them is the group of inflammatory joint diseases, of which the most common diseases are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis, better known in our country as Bechterew's disease. These diseases are of great social importance because they affect people of working age, they are widespread and seriously impair the quality of life of patients and lead to work disability and severe disability. Common to all of them is their autoimmune genesis - the immune system "confuses" its own tissues with someone else's and attacks them. The reason for these diseases is still unknown, so for the time being they cannot be cured completely. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and Bechterew's disease are diseases in which in addition to articular manifestations there can also be systemic manifestations - affecting the eyes, skin, lung, heart, vessels, kidneys. According to unofficial data in Bulgaria there are about 60 000 people with RA, 30-40 thousand with PsA and about 20 thousand with Bechterew's disease.