Over 1.5m Nigerians Suffer from Arthritis Yearly – Orthopaedic Association


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The President of Nigerian Orthopaedic Association, Dr Kunle Olawepo, has said that over 1.5 million Nigerians present themselves for treatment annually owing to arthritis.

Olawepo stated this in a statement on Monday to commemorate the 2020 World Arthritis Day in Calabar.

He defined Arthritis ‘as a group of disorders affecting the joints, comprising more than 100 clinical conditions arising from degenerative, inflammatory, infective, metabolic or autoimmune causes.

He said that condition could be caused by Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gouty arthritis and others.

Olawepo said that the common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain stiffness (especially morning stiffness) and decreased range of motion.

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“About 350 million people globally suffer from Arthritis, while more than 1.5 million people present for treatment in Nigeria annually owing to this condition

“Annually, the 12th of October is celebrated as World Arthritis Day, declared by the World Health Organization and celebrated since 1996.

“This observance calls global attention to a complex, multifaceted disease that evidence shows is a leading cause of disability worldwide, with both physical and emotional impacts.

“People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in the human joints,” he said.

Olawepo said that the complications of arthritis include deformities such as Bow and K-legs, Shortened limb due to reduced length, Bending of the spine and Accumulation of fluid in the joint.

To prevent arthritis, he admonished the public on lifestyle adjustments to include, weight regulation or initiating weight loss in the overweight or obese and regular exercise for weight therapy and improved motion of the joints.

He charged the government on the provision of relevant and appropriate investigative modalities at an easily accessible location throughout the country.

“Government at all levels should provide adequate health insurance to ameliorate the cost of expensive investigations and treatment, including medications and interventions, even joint repair, joint fusion and joint replacement surgeries.

“Lifestyle modification on the part of individuals and government’s support by providing medical aid towards its treatment shall go a long way in the proper management of this condition whenever it arises even as we commemorate the 2020 World Arthritis Day,” he said.

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