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Join Affinity Health in Raising Awareness Around Juvenile Arthritis

Leading medical insurance provider in SA, Affinity Health, highlights the early signs and symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis.


What is Juvenile Arthritis?

Arthritis is commonly regarded as a disease that affects the elderly. However, it is a disease that affects people of all ages, children included.  Arthritis Kids South Africa shares that between 19,000 and 75,000 South African children suffer from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The majority are undiagnosed or receiving inadequate treatment.


The disease can strike from as early as six months old. The good news is that permanent damage from juvenile arthritis is rare. Due to advances in treatment, most affected children and can lead productive lives.


“Arthritis” means “joint inflammation” in Latin, but it can also affect the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract in children. The illness shows up in various ways, and researchers and doctors alike are trying to figure out what the key differences are and how different treatments can help.


Most research suggests that arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Simply put, it happens when the body attacks healthy tissue. To effectively manage and minimise the effects of arthritis, an early and accurate diagnosis is essential.


There is currently no cure for juvenile arthritis. Controlling pain, reducing inflammation, and maintaining mobility are the primary treatment goals, though surgery is the only way to avoid further joint damage in some cases.


If your child has juvenile arthritis, their treatment plan will most likely be based on taking the proper medications, engaging in therapeutically physical activities, and eating well.


“The exact cause of arthritis in children is unknown. The immune system may not function properly in children with arthritis, causing inflammation in the joints and other body systems,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Symptoms and signs may appear and disappear over time. There may be flares, which are when symptoms get worse, and remissions, which are when symptoms get better.”


Persistent joint pain and stiffness are common symptoms of juvenile arthritis and can make daily activities such as walking, dressing, and playing challenging for your child.


Other symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis may include:

  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Rash
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of the eye


“If your child has any of the above symptoms, it’s best to seek the advice of a healthcare provider who may recommend a paediatric rheumatologist,” adds Murray. “Childhood arthritis is best diagnosed through a physical examination and review of symptoms, X-rays, and lab tests.”


Affinity Health understands just how difficult it can be caring for a child with a chronic health condition. As such, Affinity Health offers various healthcare plans designed to suit your health and financial needs.


With Affinity Junior, you can get Day-to-Day cover for your children with unlimited, managed doctor consultations, medication, and hospitalisation, depending on the plan chosen.


The Affinity Junior plan has a unique feature in that it only covers your children.


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

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