The Kuwait Association of Rheumatology (KAR) was established in 1995 by Dr. Khalid Al-Jarallah, Dr. Khalid Al-Saeed and Dr. Adel Al-Awadhi. It has been renewed several times since then and has been chaired by different rheumatologists. The current board includes six members, Dr Adeeba Al-Herz, president, Dr Heba Al-Hajiri, vice president, Dr Ali Al-Dei treasurer, Dr Ahmed Al-Enizi, member, Dr Muna Al-Mutairi, member and Dr Hoda Tarakmeh, member.
KAR currently represents 27 qualified adult and paediatric rheumatologists in Kuwait, the vast majority being trained in North America and a few from UK and Saudi Arabia. In addition, there is a number of rheumatologists in training abroad to cover the increasing demand of such specialty. All major government hospitals in Kuwait at present have a recognized rheumatology unit. Each unit includes senior and junior staff who look after rheumatology patients in the specific district covered by their hospital.
KAR mainly aims at improving the standard of care provided to rheumatology patients in Kuwait as well as raising the bar for KAR among other regional and international rheumatology societies in The World. Since the creation of KAR, many goals and achievements have been established.
They include raising awareness of rheumatic diseases in Kuwait to both public and physicians of different specialties. This includes campaigns, lectures, workshops and booklets.
Other activities include
- Celebrating the World’s Arthritis Day annually
- Updating the local rheumatologists with the recent advances in this field
- Collaborating with other rheumatology organization in other parts of the World by contributing in conferences, in researches and in setting up recommendations and guidelines
- Inviting visiting professors to exchange experience
- Regulating the consumption and ensure the availability of medications for Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis in collaboration with the medical stores, The Ministry of Health and charity organizations
- Establishing rheumatology patients support group such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Behcet support groups
- Reviewing the terminology of different diseases in Arabic
- Establishing guidelines for the practice and the treatment of different diseases such as RA, PsA and SpA
- Providing an educational channel for the public through social media
- Educational programs for the rheumatology nurses
- Attending conferences regularly to ensure the quality of practice in Kuwait
- Maintain a regular meeting of the adult and the paediatric rheumatologists to exchange experience and enhance their knowledge
- Encouraging researches by creating The Kuwait Registry for Rheumatic Diseases (KRRD) which is the first and the biggest registry for rheumatoid arthritis in The Middle East.
It electronically connects patients with RA from four major hospitals in Kuwait and serves as a continuous pool for researches that are published and presented in regional and international conferences. It currently includes more than 1600 patients with more than 8000 hospital visits. Many researches and publications have already emerged from this registry which have received many awards from other countries. Other registries such as lupus and SpA are still in the pipeline.
KAR is also a member of a number of rheumatology organizations Worldwide and Kuwait has proudly been elected to host The Arab League Against Rheumatism (ArLAR) congress in 2020.