Medical doctor at Delgi hospital
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disorder affecting many organs (skin., joints, lung ,liver) but commonly affecting synovial fluid of joints.
It affects 1% of the world population. It has no known causative factor despite the many possible theories. It is one of the causes of disability.
In developed countries, because of DMRADS and ‘biologics’ the treatment option is expanded and the quality of life of these patients improved. On the other hand in developing countries, like Ethiopia, the options of treatment pause on only NSAIDs and steroids.
NSAIDs and steroids may decrease the progression of the inflammatory response but do not halt the inflammatory process.
In Ethiopia, especially in rural areas, a lot people are affected by this disease. In addition, though the disease usually affects those with age 40- 50yrs in Ethiopia we found many patients with the age of 20 – 30yrs. In Delgi Hospital, it is the 8th leading cause of hospital visit in outpatient departments in above 5yr patients and it accounts 6.59% of patients seen between March 30 and June 27, 2016G.C.
Despite the above figure the treatment includes only NSAIDs and steroids. Most of these patients will subsequently have follow up in the hospital. The progression slows down but after 15-20 years they eventually develop permanent disability.
Introducing DMRADs and ‘biologics’ in developing countries like Ethiopia may help reduce rate of disabilities thereby saving the working population which may contribute to saving the countries economy.