NAR, LASUTH urge government to improve quality of life for persons with lupus
Determined to improve the quality of life for people with lupus and commemorate the 14th World Lupus Day (WLD), the Nigerian Association of Rheumatology (NAR) has partnered with the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
NAR and LASUTH at an event to mark the WLD, brought together people from different works of life, both sufferers and careers to create awareness against the disease which for now has no cure and for sufferers to have interactions with each other.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
President, African League of Associations for Rheumatologists (ALAR) and member of NAR, Prof. Femi Adelowo, said: “Anyone can suffer from this disease both young and old and there seem to be no known course of this disease but it sometimes comes up because some people have the gene for it that matches with its enabling environment.
“There must be a match between the gene and something in the environment which when they match develops into this autoimmune disease. The disease is sometimes hereditary but in a very small percentage of 10 to 20 per cent. This is a common health condition in Nigeria that has failed to be recognized which the symptoms ranges from fever, joint pains, tiredness, sours in the mouth, hair loss, weight loss, rashes, typhoid and so on.”
Adelowo, however, said early detection of this health condition will help save lives and urged Nigerians to always go for regular medical checkups, and to the sufferers, never to stop taking their medications which is the only cure or lifeline for now.
“There must be a sensitization of the public and increase of awareness among doctors, ‘in Nigeria, there are less than 30 rheumatologists and that has led to poor awareness of the disease,” Adewolo said.
Speaking with one of the sufferers, Mrs. Damilola narrated her ordeal saying, “though being a mother of two children, I was diagnosed of this health condition last year. Lack of sleep, excessive sunlight, physical and mental stress are triggers of this disease.”