Doha, 15 October, 2019: A service provided by the Rheumatology Division at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad General Hospital is helping hundreds of women experience healthy pregnancies, despite their rheumatic condition. The Rheumatic Disease Pregnancy Service provides care for women who are affected by various rheumatic diseases, or who are vulnerable to developing rheumatic diseases while pregnant.
Dr. Samar Al Emadi, Head of the Rheumatology Division at Hamad General Hospital said since the introduction of the Rheumatic Disease Pregnancy Service, more than 400 women have been successfully cared for each year.
“The Rheumatic Disease Pregnancy Service is just one example of how we are continually introducing new services and treatment options for people affected by arthritis,” explained Dr. Al Emadi.
“Our state-of-the-art service has cared for women who are affected by rheumatic diseases, or who are vulnerable to developing rheumatic diseases while pregnant. We have recorded a very high success rate which is one of the best in the Gulf region and comparable to those achieved by advanced Western centers,” stated Dr. Al Emadi.
Dr. Al Emadi noted that while women with rheumatic conditions can experience complications during pregnancy, successful pregnancies are possible with a multi-disciplinary team approach and the use of the right medication. According to her, pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, and other rheumatic conditions have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy, underscoring the importance of specialized medical care.
The service is being highlighted as part of HMC’s activities to mark World Arthritis Day, held annually on 12 October. Dr. Abdul-Wahab Al Allaf, Senior Consultant Rheumatologist and Chairman of HMC’s World Arthritis Day Organizing Committee said HMC is committed to raising awareness of arthritis within Qatar's population to help those with the condition to have a healthy active life by reducing the burden of their disease.
“Every year in October, HMC supports the World Health Organization’s World Arthritis Day campaign by organizing events to raise awareness of the symptoms of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases as well as by promoting the importance of prevention, early diagnosis, and access to care. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve access to care, this year we managed to reduce the waiting time for seeing our new patients. And, we are aiming to establish an emergency/walk-in clinic that will provide care to our more urgent cases,” said Dr. Al Allaf.
This year as part of HMC’s World Arthritis Day activities, the team from the Rheumatology Division will be providing education for patients and visitors at many HMC facilities, including Hamad General, Al Wakra, and Al Khor Hospitals, and the Bone and Joint Center.
“Our activities this year aim to educate people with arthritis, as well as their caregivers, about available treatment options and how to utilize support networks. We will also focus on further enhancing the knowledge and skills of our healthcare workers so that the care they provide can be optimized to meet individual patient needs,” explained Al Allaf.