One in a thousand children in the UK have a form of inflammatory rheumatic disease. However, awareness of this amongst health care professionals and society at large is limited. The first “WOrld young Rheumatic Disease Day” – aimed at spreading the WORD that children and young people get rheumatic diseases too – will take place on Monday 18 March 2019 – and we hope that the rheumatology community will be able to get involved in spreading the WORD! WORD Day is being launched jointly by the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) and the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA, This campaign has been developed as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of PReS. 

The aim of WORD Day is to raise parental, professional and societal awareness of these illnesses in children. In particular, we would like to target primary care healthcare professionals and general paediatricians, who are the first clinicians to come into contact with these children, to reduce diagnostic delays. In the UK context, WORD day also aims to raise awareness amongst commissioners of healthcare for children, to ensure equity of access across the country. We hope that the message also percolates to pharmaceutical companies to ensure needs of children with rheumatic diseases are taken into account when developing new therapies for rheumatic diseases. 

WORD Day is also directed at the wider public, to raise awareness of the needs of children with rheumatic diseases. Have a look at the recent article published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health for more information, click here

WORD Day is being celebrated in different ways across the world, but here are some ideas of how you can get involved: 

  1. Organise an awareness event in your hospital or university, involving information stalls, talks given by patients, and training events for professionals, including medical students. Promotional information can be found here.

  2. Raise awareness of this day amongst your patient populations in clinics and visits to hospitals.

  3. Use your hospital website and social media channels to promote WORD Day: 

For more information and to share your ideas, please email: or visit: