Advocacy: The more people we speak for, the louder our voice.
More than 4.6 million Canadians live with some form of arthritis. To those who live with it, arthritis pain can be wearing and depressing. It can have a severe effect on work, relationships and quality of life. Arthritis can also lead to disability. Let’s consider some of the specific ways people are affected.
The direct and indirect costs of the burden of arthritis on society have been estimated at $33.2 Billion dollars per year. These costs are expected to accumulate to $1,712.9 Billion over the next 30 years unless action is taken to reduce and prevent arthritic diseases and to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis earlier.
The shocking thing about these figures is that they are for only osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of spondyloarthritis is thought to be about the same as that of rheumatoid arthritis.
What can be done
With so many people living with arthritis and the cost of it to society being so substantial, what can be done about it? In the case of spondyloarthritis, advocacy centres on early diagnosis and equal opportunities to all treatment options. As well there is a need to promote research into the cause and cure of spondyloarthritis. Check out some related reports and information.
We know that the earlier the diagnosis is made and the earlier treatment is started, the better is the outcome for the patient. But there continue to be lengthy delays in diagnosis and barriers to treatment with biologics.
We also know that there are many myths about arthritis. Only those of us who live with it can tell the real story of it and our needs to government, media and the public.
Help advocacy efforts by becoming a member
Those living with spondyloarthritis need to come together to advocate for themselves and to join in the arthritis community’s advocacy efforts. This is why the Canadian Spondylitis Association is a member of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada. And it is why you can help advocacy efforts by becoming a member of the Canadian Spondylitis Association. The more people we speak for, the louder our voice.
Click here to become a member now.
Or find out about other ways you can be an advocate here.