Research Articles

Pediatric rheumatology in Africa: thriving amidst challenges

Abstract: Background: Pediatric Rheumatology is an orphan specialty in Africa which is gradually gaining importance across the continent. Main body: This commentary discusses the current state of affairs in the sphere of Pediatric Rheumatology across Africa and offers practical strategies to navigate the challenges encountered in research, models of care, education and training. We outline the establishment, opportunities of growth and achievements of the Pediatric Society of the African League Against Rheumatism (PAFLAR). Conclusion: This commentary lays the foundation for establishment of a formidable framework and development of partnerships for the prosperity of Pediatric Rheumatology in Africa and beyond. Keywords: Pediatric rheumatology, Africa

Authors: Angela N. Migowa, Djohra Hadef, Wafa Hamdi, Oscar Mwizerwa, Madeleine Ngandeu, Yassmin Taha, Faleye Ayodele, Kate Webb and Christiaan Scott

First Published December 24, 2020

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African League Against Rheumatism (AFLAR) preliminary recommendations on the management of rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract: Objectives - To develop recommendations for the management of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method - A task force comprising of 25 rheumatologists from the 5 regions of the continent was formed and operated through a huband- spoke model with a central working committee (CWC) and 4 subgroups. The subgroups championed separate scopes of the clinical questions and formulated preliminary statements of recommendations which were processed centrally in the CWC. The CWC and each subgroup met by several virtual meetings, and two rounds of voting were conducted on the drafted statements of recommendations. Votes were online-delivered and recommendations were pruned down according to predefined criteria. Each statement was rated between 1 and 9 with 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 representing disagreement, uncertainty and agreement, respectively. The levels of agreement on the statements were stratified as low, moderate or high according to the spread of votes.A statement was retired if it had a mean vote below 7 or a ‘low’ level of agreement.

Authors: Richard Oluyinka Akintayo, Rachid Bahiri, Yasser El Miedany, Hakeem Olaosebikan, Asgar Ali Kalla, Adewale Olukayode Adebajo, Angela Nyangore Migowa, Samy Slimani, Ouma Devi Koussougbo, Ben Abdelghani Kawther, Akpabio Akanimo Akpabio, Imad Ghozlani, Dzifa Dey, Waleed A. Hassan, Nimmisha Govind, Kavita Makan, Abdelgaffar Mohamed, Eugene Kalman Genga, Mohamed Khattry Ahmed Ghassem, Mohamed Mortada, Wafa Hamdi, Moudjib O. Wabi, Mohammed Tikly, Madeleine Ngandeu-Singwe, Christian Scott

First Published July 8, 2020

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Improving musculoskeletal health for children and young people – A ‘call to action’

Abstract: This chapter describes the musculoskeletal (MSK) context in children and young people as an important contributor to the global non-communicable disease burden. Through selected MSK conditions, we describe the impact on patients, families and communities and highlight the challenges that need to be addressed. We focus on opportunities for better working together and describe exemplar initiatives to raise awareness, workforce capacity building, models of care and research agendas to have a greater global context.

Authors: Helen E. Foster, Christiaan Scott, Carl J. Tiderius, Matthew B. Dobbs, Elizabeth Ang, Sirirat Charuvanij, Wendy Costello, Marja Kinnunen, Laura B. Lewandowski, Angela Migowa, Simon R. Stones, Soamarat Vilaiyuk, Kate Webb

First Published July 26, 2020

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COVID-19 and the practice of rheumatology in Africa: big changes to services from the shockwave of a pandemic

Abstract: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to far-reaching changes in the delivery of healthcare services across Africa. A number of drugs used in the management of rheumatic diseases have been touted to have roles to play in the treatment and/or exacerbation of COVID-19 symptoms and this has resulted in significant changes in the practice of rheumatology. The global rheumatology community has risen to this challenge by demonstrating collaborative partnership, resulting in the establishment of the global rheumatology registry to collect data on rheumatic patients infected with COVID-19.

Authors: Richard Oluyinka Akintayo, Akpabio Akpabio, Asgar Kalla, Dzifa Dey, Angela Migowa, Hakeem Olaosebikan, Rachid Bahiri, Yasser El Miedany, Djohra Hadef, Wafa Hamdi, Omondi Oyoo, Samy Slimani, Abubakar Yerima, Yassmin Taha, Adewale Adebajo, Olufemi Adelowo, Mohammed Tikly, Imad Ghozlani, Kawther Ben Abdelghani, Nermeen Ahmed Fouad, Doaa Mosad, Dalia El Mikkawy, Mohamed Hassan Abu-Zaid, Rasha A Abdel-Magied

First Published July 1, 2020

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