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Doctor: Why many are suffering silently from rheumatological disorders

The burden of managing rheumatological and musculoskeletal diseases in low resource setting is quiet enormous, Dr Akintayo Oguntona, has said. Oguntona, an associate professor of…

The burden of managing rheumatological and musculoskeletal diseases in low resource setting is quiet enormous, Dr Akintayo Oguntona, has said.

Oguntona, an associate professor of rheumatology and the president of the Nigerian Society of Rheumatology (NSR), said this during a conference organised by the Nigerian Society of Rheumatology (NSR), in Lagos.

He stressed that a lot of people are suffering silently from rheumatological disorders because they do not know who to consult for treatment.

“The burden is enormous because there are so many people suffering silently because of these disorders because they are not aware that we have rheumatologists, they will first of all patronize the traditional people, go to chemists, then herbal practitioners and just few people actually know about this conditions unless they get to them, that is when they get diagnosed and get correct management. So a lot of people are burdened by these disorders so and do not know where to go.”

Oguntona added that rheumatologists are reaching out to their colleagues who are doctors about this condition so they can know who to refer patients that present with such conditions to

“We are trying to reach out to people even our colleagues about this conditions so that the they can know about the diagnosis of this disease and pass this patients to us for adequate management.”

The associate professor of rheumatology also highlighted that financial aspect of managing rheumatological diseases as a huge burden on patients that present with such conditions.

“In terms of economic management, the treatment in this country is out of pocket and the financial burden is upon our parients and their relatives so what we can do is to get out and advocate to our government….. a drug that we call biologic is too expensive. In fact, only very minute people in this country will be able to afford even a dose of it and its a drug that you take every week or at least every two weeks. Even the oral tablets, the one we call jack inhibitors now it takes about 206,000 every month for the treatment … so the burden is so enormous on our patients so we are reaching to the pharmaceutical companies to help us …”

Also speaking during the event is the patron of the NSR, Professor Olufemi Adelowo, urged patients living with rheumatological conditions not to give up hope in life but rather consult a rheatologist for adequate management of such conditions.