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An Introduction to Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group (RASG)

4While the Arthritis Foundation Malaysia (AFM) is the pillar for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, the RASG was formed in 2005 as the arm that supports them. 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of RASG. They have around 70-80 members in the Klang Valley.

Objectives

  • To reach out and actively support RA patients who are suffering in silence
  • To provide emotional support and share experiences with each other
  • To reach out to care-givers and provide them with information

Activities

  • To have yearly gatherings for members to keep in touch
  • To organize forums where invited doctors speak on various relevant subjects such as “Living with RA”, “Joint Replacement” etc.
  • Along with AFM, organize the World Arthritis Day, Charity Walk, Medical Congress etc.
  • Organise activities outside the Klang Valley for our members residing in these areas.
  • Organise PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise) classes for members
  • Celebrate the National RA Day every year in July

In the future, RASG is working towards involving greater teenage participation from RA patients. They also hope to form support groups in Penang and Ipoh and continue to provide support, information and guidance to newly diagnosed RA patients.

The key challenges they face is to ensure that the personal, economic and social impact of arthritis in Australia is recognized by policy makers and service providers for the community. As without this acknowledgement it is hard to achieve support for improvements for the care of people with arthritis. Attending this summit and listening to the scope of work being carried out in different countries in the Asia-Pacific region has inspired
me with ideas that I can take back and incorporate in Malaysia.

For further information please contact AFM Secretariat at Tel: 03-7960 6177 email. info@afm.org.my. AFM’s Secretariat official working hours are: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm. Lunch Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm. RA patients may also enquire with Annie Hay at 012-292 5312.

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