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Live Chain for Supporting Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Members of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Union organized a campaign ‘Everything is in Our Hands”. The patients aim to reach every member of the community with an important message.

They are requesting funding for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis for adult citizens. With signatures collected through an online petition, the campaign participants applied to the Ministry of Health and the Tbilisi City Council.

The main objective of the campaign is increasing public awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis, as a severe disease, in order to diagnose it promptly and ensure access to adequate treatment. Any volunteer could take part in the campaign and support patients by joining the live chain: “Healthy Joints – this can be achieved.”

“RA patients can hardly move due to unbearable pain, their joints are deformed and lose their function and finally they restrict movement. Our goal is to increase public awareness about this disease, since support of each and every one of you increases the chance of having access to adequate treatment,” – said Marina Sagharadze one of the founders of the Union of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“Real desires and physical abilities never coincide with each other. It is very stressful. I have the IV stage of this disease. Along with suffering from extreme pain my limbs were getting deformed for years. Unless the biological medicines are used promptly, the outcome will be threatening. These are the medicines that bring miraculous changes, they in fact stop the illness”, – noted Rusudan Ebanoidze, one of the members of the Union of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.      

And finally, the number of online petitioners was announced. Published results were sent to the Ministry of Health and Tbilisi City Council with the request to increase availability of biological medicines for RA patients in Georgia. As representatives of the Ministry noted, they were familiar with the problem and expressed the hope that new services would be added to the Universal Health Insurance.

However, in the meantime, the patients will be able to apply to the Ministry with the request that will be reviewed by the respective Commission and respective decision will be made on expediency of funding allocation. The outreach campaign was provided by Company Gepra.