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Low Level of Awareness of Juvenile Arthritis in Ireland

According to a new online survey conducted by Arthritis Ireland aimed at parents of children with juvenile arthritis (JA), which affects more than 1, 000 children in the country, awareness of the disease remains remarkably low in public life.

Two thirds of respondents said that they had either ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ met somebody who had heard of JA. The same amount stated that disbelief that someone so young could have the disease was one of the most common responses they received when telling somebody of their child’s condition.

Susan Flavin, a mother of two daughters with JA, said:

"As a parent of two children with arthritis, we know the rollercoaster of emotion that parents experience from the nightmare of diagnosis, the horrible expectation of flares, to remission. Ultimately all you want for your children is for them to be healthy and to enjoy their childhood and that is what we strive for every day. Certainly the future is uncertain but we hope for the best and encourage our girls to make the most of each day."

To raise awareness of JA, Arthritis Ireland will be hosting a month-long campaign during October, Juvenile Arthritis Month. As part of the campaign, they will be asking the public to sell Jasper pins to raise funds to provide vital JA support. They will also host their own support services, including a JA Family Day and a new dedicated JA website that will provide users with comprehensive information on JA and the services that the organisation provides.

For more information on JA, please visit the Arthritis Ireland and Juvenile Arthritis websites.

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