A Public Forum and the 22nd Annual General Meeting of Arthritis Foundation, Malaysia (AFM) were held on 11th April 2015 at Lotus 1, Swan Convention Centre, Sunway Medical Centre. Bandar Sunway. It was attended by 112 participants (50 members, 62 non-members).
The first speaker was Dr. Shamala Rajalingam from Hospital Putrajaya, a general physician and rheumatologist, and her topic was ”Multiple Joint Pains”. She talked about Arthralgia, the joint pain without swelling often confused with arthritis and could be what some suffered from. Through her illustrative slides, she also showed clearly the difference between normal and arthritic joints. She emphasized the need to seek treatment early as “75% of RA patients develop erosions within first two years of onset of symptoms. So there is a very critical ‘window of opportunity’ that has to be seized”.
The second speaker was Dr. Ramani Arumugam, consultant physician and rheumatologist with Hospital Serdang whose topic was “Inflammatory Back Pain” specifically Spondyloarthritis (or spondyloarthropathy). She introduced the audience to ‘Spondyloarthritis” which is a family of inflammatory rheumatic diseases that causes arthritis. The most common is ankylosing spondylitis, which affects mainly the spine, joints of the spine as well as ligaments and tendons. She explained that spondyloarthritis differs from other types of arthritis in that it involves the “entheses”, sites where ligaments and tendons are attached to bones.
22nd Annual General Meeting
The AGM followed the public forum. Dr. Amir Azlan Zain gave the welcome address. He talked about the strides that AFM had made in this last year, which included move to a new office and receiving corporate support from Berjaya Foundation, RM 160,000 towards funding joint replacements. He also informed the members that he wanted to step down as President after having held the post for the last 6 years. Subsequently, Prof. Dr.Sargunan Sockalingam was elected as the new AFM President as with the remaining committee members. The new additions to the Executive Committee were Mdm. Ho Guat Choo as new Hon. Asst. Secretary and Dr. Shamala Rajalingam as new Committee Member.
The minutes of the last meeting were adopted, as well as the executive report, the audited accounts and members also voted on the appointment of auditors. The closing address was delivered by the new President Dr. Sargunan who gave credit to past presidents including Dr.Amir as well the Committees before this. He also urged the members for suggestions on how AFM could serve members and the public better and that he will do his best to address them.
This was followed by refreshments.