ASWS: Enhancing Lives with Ankylosing Spondylitis Support

Prachee Bhosle M.A. in Social Psychology, Mumbai and PG Diploma in Counselling Psychology
Founding Member & President, ASWS, India

Bhushan Ghate
Founding Member & Coordinator, ASWS

The Ankylosing Spondylitis Welfare Society (ASWS), a registered charity organization, in Maharashtra, founded by Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) patients under Dr. Pravin Patil’s guidance, is a beacon of support for individuals with AS. Devoted to enhancing AS patients’ lives, ASWS offers a range of critical resources, support mechanisms, and advocacy initiatives,and tirelessly works to improve access to biologics therapy for economically disadvantaged patients.

Our seminars and monthly webinars, led by renowned doctors, educate patients, and address their concerns, fostering direct dialogue with medical experts. ASWS extends emotional support and guidance to over 1000 patients and caregivers, dismantling misconceptions about AS.

Recognizing the financial strain of AS treatment, ASWS engages in crowdfunding activities to offer financial assistance to patients in need. Additionally, the organisation represented concerns faced by Indian patients at a global event organised by GAfPA (Global Alliance for Patient Access), in Belgium. ASWS is affiliated with ASIF (Axial Spondyloarthritis International Federation), highlighting its enduring commitment to addressing global concerns regarding axSpA. ASWS, plans to contribute to EULAR’s iPARE initiative, addressing rheumatic concerns globally.

Despite impactful endeavours, ASWS encounters challenges. Their outreach relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals and lacks a comprehensive database of axSpA patients, limiting their reach. Shortages in financial and legal expertise pose administrative hurdles, affecting operational efficiency.

ASWS seeks support from medical professionals to bridge these gaps, requesting referrals of axSpA patients and increased donations to expand outreach and financial assistance programs. We also aim to secure pro bono legal and financial expertise to streamline administrative operations.

Looking forward, ASWS envisions amplifying advocacy and awareness campaigns, pushing for axSpA inclusion in insurance policies and health schemes. Our vision entails heightened financial support, early diagnosis promotion, and timely treatment to minimize permanent damage.

ASWS remains steadfast in our commitment to empowering AS patients, focusing on bolstering support, advocating for policy changes, and fostering greater awareness to improve the quality of life for those affected by AS.