About Don't Delay, Connect Today

In 2017, EULAR launched the Europe-wide campaign entitled ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ with the goal to highlight rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) as major diseases and a public health concern of pandemic proportions, and that early diagnosis and timely access to treatment can prevent further damage and burden on the individual and society.

The campaign targets the public, physicians, health professionals, occupational health therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and policy-makers. 

Why it matters?

They say life is short – so give it your best shot. For many millions of people in Europe the opportunity to design a good life is however severely limited by a chronic disease.

There are over 200 rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, RMDs. All of them can have debilitating effects on the individual, their life and career prospects, as well as national health care systems. 

Approximately 100 million people in Europe are currently diagnosed with an RMD, there are however at least 100 million more who are living without a diagnosis.

EULAR started the campaign, Don’t Delay, Connect Today in 2017 with the purpose of raising awareness around the importance of early diagnosis and access to care – for all.

Don't Delay, Connect Today Life stories

11-year-old Aran talks about his life living with a rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease

Meet Simon Stones who was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, JIA, at the age of three. Today, Simon is undertaking advanced studies at university to obtain a PhD, and speaks about his ability to take action to bring his life onto this track thanks to early diagnosis.

Simon believes in the importance of a collaborative approach between doctors, people including young people and their parents to enable successful outcomes for all. 


Kate Betteridge was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, RA, at age 13. Her family doctor successfully identified symptoms and within eight weeks an accurate diagnosis was made.

Early diagnosis enabled Kate to go on to fulfil her dream of becoming a journalist and to integrate the management of RA into her life, rather than letting RA dominate her life and passions


Watch the "Don't Delay, Connect Today" full video playlist

EULAR PARE Member Organisations' participation

Member organisations of EULAR PARE have taken part in the Don't Delay, Connect Today campaign with a series of activities.

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Read the press release here!

Educational activities in Germany about rheumatic diseases and the 'Don’t Delay, Connect Today' campaign will mainly be organised by the team of the “Rheuma-VOR” project. The project’s name can be translated as “forward with rheumatism”. Rheuma-VOR is celebrating its first year of existence on June 4, 2018, in Mainz, the capital of the German federal state Rhineland-Palatinate.

On this day, together with the federal state’s Ministry of Health, the health minister Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler and other healthcare officials, Rheuma-VOR will celebrate their 1,000th registered patient in their proof-of-concept study within one year. The event will also mark the start of this year’s rheuma bus tour – a two week round-trip across three different federal states in Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate, Lower Saxony, Saarland) providing the public with information on early diagnosis and treatment options in rheumatic diseases.

The project Rheuma-VOR with its claim “Diagnose Quickly – Act Adequately” aims to address and connect patients, rheumatologists, health professionals, GP’s and the general public. The main aims are to:

  • Improve scientific knowledge on early diagnosis of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthritis and psoriasis arthritis
  • Educate primary care doctors on how to adequately recognise early signs of rheumatic diseases and the importance of a timely referral of the patient to a specialist
  • Ensure timely access to targeted treatment that will improve the patient’s condition.

More information on Rheuma-VOR can be found on www.rheuma-vor.de (website in German).

Related Information
EULAR Campaigns

EULAR hosts campaigns to help achieve its goal in the area of Advocacy: to increase participation in work by people with RMDs by the year 2023.

Read more


For more information, contact publicaffairs@eular.org

EULAR PARE sessions at the EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology

A series of scientific programme sessions were held at the EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology around the Campaign Don't delay, Connect Today in order to provide further context to participants.

See playlist

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