Statement on Raising Awareness about Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

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We, in the Philippine Rheumatology Association, are pleased to partner with the Philippine Dermatological Society, Psoriasis Philippines and Novartis in increasing awareness for our patients with psoriasis.  As rheumatologists, we are keenly aware of the pain and suffering that our patients with psoriatic arthritis go through in their everyday lives.

Aside from the social stigma of being stared at because of their skin lesions, they go through physical challenges accomplishing tasks that we take for granted.  Tasks like getting up in the morning and reaching for your slippers, which become difficult for patients with back involvement.  Cutting and cooking food, eating, writing are challenging for patients with finger joint involvement.  The very act of dressing is a chore for those with shoulder involvement.
But even as we are witness to their physical limitations, we also celebrate with them their victories at what they can become and what they can achieve despite this chronic systemic illness.  Because our patients surmount, our patients are survivors.  Majority of them contribute to society in the same way that we do – as doctors, as teachers, as business people, as nurses, as skilled workers, as parents and as students.
Today, we are especially pleased to participate in this photography project by empowered patients in PsorPhil, because finally, everyone will see our patients the same way we see them – lesions or no lesions, they are persons of beauty, persons of strength, persons who are victorious, persons who can soar.

The above statement was given by Dr. Bernadette Heizel Reyes (PRA President) during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between PRA, PDS, PsorPhil and Novartis that aims to increase awareness on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, educate people on the early recognition of psoriasis symptoms and eliminate the social stigma associated with the condition. 
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