Who we are

The African League of Association for Rheumatology, is the organisation which represents the people with arthritis/rheumatism, health professionals in rheumatology (HPR) and scientific societies of rheumatology of all nations across Africa

Our members cover the entire rheumatology specialty – from those at the beginning of their career to the most senior consultants, academics and allied health professionals in the multidisciplinary team. Together, we form a powerful voice for rheumatology in Africa.

We support our Health Care Professional so they can deliver the best care for patients, improving the lives of children and adults with rheumatic and musculoskeletal (MSK) disease

what keeps us going


AFLAR is committed to support programs that lead to progress in the practice of and education regarding Rheumatology on the African Continent.


  • To establish a common platform for Rheumatology health care professionals as well as patients with rheumatic diseases in Africa.
  • To identify areas lacking rheumatological resources and to strengthen these regions.
  • To establish and promote the development of Rheumatology Centres of Excellence across Africa.
  • To encourage and develop support for rheumatology care and practice in Africa.
  • To conduct surveys and develop protocols for management of rheumatic diseases in Africa.
Aflar logo image alone

AFLAR, as the youngest, smallest member of ILAR faces many challenges in promoting Rheumatology in Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. The problems of Africa are well known but recent initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), conflict resolution mechanisms and global attention on Africa augur well for the future and provide an opportunity for us to make further progress in promoting Rheumatology. At the beginning of our term of office, we faced many problems in maintaining communications but there has been considerable improvement once we established personal contact with some of our colleagues.

Relationships With International Organisations

International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) : AFLAR has enjoyed the support of ILAR since its launch and the first AFLAR Congress in Cairo, Egypt in 1991. Some of the specific areas of support by ILAR are as follows:

ILAR Paediatric Rheumatology task force meeting

ILAR supported a request by the South African Rheumatism and Arthritis Association (SARAA) to host the ILAR Paediatric Rheumatology Task Force meeting in Durban, South Africa during the SARAA Congress in 1997. An International panel of expert Paediatric Rheumatologists attended the Task Force Meeting and contributed to the SARAA Congress. The deliberations of the ILAR Paediatric Rheumatology Task Force under the chairmanship of Professor Ross Petty, led to the development of the Durban modification of the criteria for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

ILAR Congress – Edmonton. Canada 2001

The last ILAR Congress which was held in Edmonton, Canada during August 2001 featured many of our African Rheumatologists who organised and participated in Congress Symposia.

EULAR symposium during the 4th AFLAR Congress in Morocco, March 2003

The AFLAR EXCO wishes to thank Professor Joachin Kalden and the EULAR EXCO for sponsoring a symposium during the AFLAR Congress. EULAR paid the accommodation and travel expenses for three of their members to contribute to the EULAR Symposium.

ILAR EXCO meeting during the third AFLAR congress in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999.

The first meeting of the ILAR EXCO on the African continent took place during the AFLAR Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999. The members of the ILAR EXCO also contributed to the scientific programme.

ILAR support for research on spondyloarthropathies

ILAR has provided financial support for a research project on spondyloarthropathies in North Africa. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Professor Maxime Dougados from France.

ILAR annual membership fees

The ILAR EXCO has continued to waive the Annual Fees for AFLAR. Unfortunately, the financial position of AFLAR has not improved and we are grateful to the ILAR EXCO and the other regional leagues for their understanding and support.

EULAR donation of subscriptions of the annals of the rheumatic diseases

Recently Mr Fred Wyss from EULAR confirmed further EULAR support for AFLAR. EULAR has agreed to sponsor 20 subscriptions of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases for a period of 5 years for member countries in Africa.

EULAR fellowships to APLAR members for the EULAR congress in Lisbon, in June 2003

EULAR provided fellowships for 3 delegates from Africa to attend the EULAR Congress in Lisbon. As a result of the generous support from EULAR, it was possible for a delegate from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda to attend their first International Rheumatology Meeting by participating in the EULAR Congress in Lisbon.