The NCD community still does not recognize the disability and even mortality from arthritis and associated autoimmune diseases. Education at WHO and local level is key to address this problem. As you know many countries do not have even one rheumatologist. People do not realize that arthritis can be treated. For example, gout can completely disable a person, yet the treatment is inexpensive and effective. It is only by educating local health care professionals that the public and local government can develop the needed health literacy.
HIFA profile: Michele Meltzer is a rheumatologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. who is developing a MOOC to teach rheumatology in low and middle income countries. michele.meltzer AT jefferson.edu