Foundation urges awareness on lupus
As part of its activities to mark the World Lupus Day, Labalaba Foundation has called for intensified awareness and funding to curtail the disease.Lupus is an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidney, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Speaking at the foundation’s second Annual World Lupus Day Symposium, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode, said that the symposium brings the latest development in the diagnostics, recognition, and management of the rare diseases.Bode said the time has passed when such conditions went unrecognized. “Early recognition, good treatment, and compliance with the doctor’s directive can prevent the condition,” he said.
The CMD noted that researches are still ongoing to identify how the diseases could be prevented and managed.Consultant Rheumatologist, LUTH and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. Femi Adelowo, said lupus is one of the uncommon conditions, which are considered autoimmune.“The body turns on its own and begins to attack it, the white blood cells are supposed to defend the body but for some reasons, we do not know these immune systems will turn back on its own.
“It is not an infection but there might be some element of genetic predisposition and environmental factors,” he added. Similarly, Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer, Labalaba Foundation, Mrs. Chisa Nosamiefan, said the goal is to really raise awareness of Lupus disease.“What we want to do is to make sure people are aware of what Lupus is and the more people that are aware the better. Also, our other goal is to help the patient understand that disease and live better lives with it,” she said.
Nosamiefan said she was diagnosed of Lupus 23 years ago and have lived with the challenges since then, hence the reason the Foundation is focusing on Lupus.She said the symposium is necessary because the awareness is very low and also to enlighten the populace that Lupus is not a death sentence.“A lot of education and understanding of the body is needed; working with a specialist will bring you to a place it can be well managed. I am well managed today, there are so many people living with the disease that have not been well managed, I want to be able to guide them through,” she added.
Co-founder, Labalaba Foundation and Consultant Dermatologist, LUTH, Dr. Ayesha Akinkugbe, said they aim at improving the quality of lives of patients with Lupus through education, advocacy and support. Akinkugbe said a lot of support in various ways is needed not just financial but counseling.
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