by Ilianna Effrosyni Armata, CS Year student
The Cyprus Antirheumatic Association in collaboration with the Mobile Clinic Club organised a Rheumatology Expedition to raise awareness about arthritis and other rheumatic diseases during Rheumatology week on 14-22 May. Medical students, with the guidance of the Antirheumatic Association and their expert team including clinical faculty member Dr Joseph Joseph, helped to accomplish this mission through the completion of a short survey and by giving information to the participants regarding rheumatology and rheumatic diseases.
The event took place in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, the three largest cities of Cyprus, where students asked locals a few questions about their present knowledge and perception of rheumatology and rheumatic diseases. With the completion of each questionnaire, participants were informed about the focus of rheumatology and the job of rheumatologists, and were also educated on the presentation and epidemiology of common rheumatic diseases. In addition, the expedition offered expert consultations from a rheumatologist and a physiotherapist to participants with joint complaints. Data collection will give a representative sample of the current public knowledge of rheumatic diseases and possibly guide the Antirheumatic Association in their future raising awareness campaigns. Through this wonderful experience students got to learn themselves a lot more about rheumatic diseases, they interacted directly with the public and were also given the chance to educate people on simple, yet very important concepts about health and rheumatic diseases.