WA’s City of Cockburn Council has provided a $15,000 grant for a world-first pilot project with the potential to help millions of people receiving treatment for a broad range of rheumatological conditions globally.
The Council grant to Spinnaker Health Research Foundation will enable FSH Rheumatology Consultant, Dr Chanakya Sharma, to pilot a finger-prick test that checks levels of the medication methotrexate in the blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
It says the test could be used to monitor patients with a broad range of other rheumatological conditions that rely on the medication for treatment.
Mayor, Logan Howlett said the contribution to Spinnaker’s health research grant program was of immeasurable benefit to the local and broader community.
“In line with our Strategic Community plan, Council is delighted to advance and improve the quality of life of our diverse community, by providing safe, attractive and healthy programs, infrastructure, activities and opportunities,” he said.
Based at WA’s leading tertiary hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), Spinnaker provides research grants to projects that will benefit people in the Southern Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) district.
South metropolitan Perth has the highest number of people living with rheumatoid arthritis in Western Australia. Affected residents are dependent upon invasive monthly blood tests to check medication levels, which are time consuming, uncomfortable, and costly to the public health system.
Dr Sharma said the test had the potential to alleviate the negative impacts of regular testing and improve the accuracy of medication dosage to maintain optimum health and quality of life.
The Council has donated grants worth $130,000 to 10 medical research projects through Spinnaker since 2006.