WOrld young Rheumatic Diseases day (WORD day) 2019

A step forward towards fuller and active lives of kids with Arthritis…

On Sunday, March 17, we at Badri-Tirtha Arthritis Society (BTAS) teamed up with the medical crew at National Center for Rheumatic Diseases (NCRD) to celebrate the WOrld young Rheumatic Diseases day (WORD day) 2019. March 18th has been designated as the WORD day and will be celebrated every year 2019 onwards. This is the first year the world is celebrating this day, including us in Nepal. The aim of WORD Day is to first raise awareness of rheumatic diseases in children and young people, while informing children and young people, parents, healthcare professionals, teachers, and the general public about the importance of early diagnosis, and a quick referral to specialist pediatric rheumatologists. It is anticipated that awareness will have a ripple effect on all levels of practitioners who come in contact with these children and young people, improving the level of treatment they receive and their prognosis worldwide.

With the slogan “Spread the WORD that Children and Young people get Rheumatic Disease too”, the team of volunteers from BTAS and NCRD organized a special event for the kids at Nepal Children’s Organization (Bal Mandir), Naxal. A total of around 295 children attended the event which included 100 from Bal Mandir, Naxal; other 100 from Child Protection Home, Siphal and around 95 from Adarsha Nimna Madhyamik Vidhyalaya. The children at Bal Mandir who attended the event were from all ages studying at different schools like Himali Boarding School, Mahendra Bhawan Madhyamik Vidhyalaya and Bal Byabasayi Kendra from grade 1 to grade 10.

The event started on a nationalist note with everyone standing up and paying tribute to our National Anthem – it was a delight to witness the energy and harmony these children had when reciting our National Anthem. The program proceeded with a short addressing by the BTAS President Mrs. Badrilaxmi Vaidya followed by an introductory note on WORD day and an interactive presentation by experienced Rheumatologist Dr. Shweta Nakarmi and qualified Pediatrician Dr. Pawana Kayastha. We observed many amazed faces who probably heard about and saw for the first time such cases of Rheumatic Diseases in young people in the slides that the doctors showed.

After the presentation, a rapid health camp was conducted by the two doctors with the help of a Health Assistant and a Research Officer. They were complemented by two lab assistants who helped draw blood samples for free screening tests. Around 80 children received the consultation services out of which 30 were advised for a blood screening test. BTAS has handed over 171 free coupons to the Bal Mandir Authority and plans to provide free specialist consultation and a free screening test for all the children living in the two children’s organizations. If any child is diagnosed with any kind of Rheumatic Disease, BTAS also wishes to sponsor the mandatory medications for the needy child. For this very cause we also seek donations from the interested parties. Please drop us an email at info@btas.org.np if you wish to do so. 

Everyone enjoyed a quick snack sponsored by BTAS after the program. Children were specially amused to have free snacks at the Bal Griha premises.

Finally, we would like to thank all the volunteers from NCRD and BTAS as well as the volunteers and the management team at Bal Mandir who made this event a success. A special thanks to our media partner Health Television for the coverage.