(PRESS RELEASE) — Lupus Awareness Month is internationally observed during the month of May and the Saint Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association (SLALA) continues to embark on its drive to spread public awareness of this invisible disease.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. Any system or organ in the body can be affected — the skin, lungs, blood cells, heart, joints, brain or kidneys — so lupus looks different in everyone. The aim is to provide education about the condition, symptoms and its management.
Through the aid of contributors, SLALA during the month of May, will host several activities geared at heightening awareness. These would include a church service at the St. Benedicts Parish, the Morne on Sunday, May 5 at 10 a.m., a public information day scheduled for World Lupus Day — May 10 at Constitution Park, the annual half-day lupus seminar on Saturday, May 18 at the Pastoral Centre in Marisule, and a Paint and Sip for Lupus with Bel Koule, on May 25 at 8 p.m.
SLALA recognizes that there is great need to educate the general public about this chronic illness in St. Lucia as the diagnostic rates are increasing, especially among women.
To further educate the public about this chronic illness SLALA will embark on providing public awareness through means of social media communications and postings throughout the month of May and beyond, to bring greater awareness to the St. Lucian public about Lupus.
FACTS ABOUT LUPUS
– At least five million people suffer from Lupus globally
– 90% of lupus patients are women
– 10-15% of lupus patients die prematurely due to Lupus complications
– No two cases of lupus are alike
– Lupus is 2 to 3 times more prevalent among people of color
– There is no cure to lupus but in most cases it can be managed with treatment and specialist medical care
SYMPTOMS OF LUPUS
– Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
– Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body
– Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity)
– Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
– Shortness of breath
– Chest pain
– Dry eyes
– Headaches, confusion and memory loss
SLALA encourages the public to support and take part in Lupus Awareness Month as it aims to improve and engage individuals and bring awareness to the nation.
To obtain more information on how you can take part in Lupus Awareness Month or become a member contact SLALA at 459-0092/486-7000, email [email protected] or find us on Facebook.
Knowledge is a powerful tool that can defeat lupus. Knowledge can help those who are looking for answers and provide support and hope to people who struggle with lupus every day.