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It's National Arthritis Week!

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) affects over 1,200 children between the ages of three and sixteen in Ireland. It is an illness more often associated with the elderly, but it is now as common as childhood diabetes. 

Despite this, there is currently only two dedicated Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologists in Ireland to cater for these youngsters who live with constant pain in their joints and many other parts of their bodies. There is no cure for arthritis but with adequate care and support these children can have as normal and as active a life as possible. 

565, that is the number of children waiting to see a Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist for treatment for JIA. The latest figures show that the waiting list crisis has deepened, with the number of children waiting in pain now far higher than the end of January this year. 

This is a national crisis, so enough is enough. As part of National Arthritis Week, we are calling for the urgent appointment of a third dedicated Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist to be appointed at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin to help ease the huge burden on overstretched services. Children on waiting lists are not just waiting in pain; they are also at risk of permanent, irreversible joint damage that can impact on their ability to live a normal life.

So, this National Arthritis Week we are asking the public to help us put an end to Waiting In Pain. Help us by signing our petition. http://bit.do/ArthritisIrelandPetition or make a donation by clicking here. Further information is available from Arthritis Ireland.

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