JIS News

Jamaica observes Lupus Awareness Month in October, and on Sunday (October 25) the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica will stage its annual symposium at the Physiology Lecture Theatre, University of the West Indies UWI), Mona at 12 noon.
The symposium will feature presentations from Consultant Rheumatologist, Department of Medicine, UWI, Dr. Karel De Ceulaer, who will speak on Lupus and Fibromyalgia, and Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist, Department of Medicine, UWI, Dr. Keisha Maloney, who will address concerns related to Lupus and Pregnancy.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Spanish Town Hospital, Dr. Mark Minott, will share with participants on the topic, Kyphoplasty: A New Treatment for Osteoporotic Fractures, while Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist, Dr. Desiree Tulloch-Reid, will expound on Lupus Kidney Disease.
Professor of Rheumatology in Atlanta USA, Dr. Wendell Wilson, will give an overview of the disease, lessons learnt and the way forward with regard to treatment options.
Public Relations Officer of the Lupus Foundation, Kerine Hamilton, told JIS News that, though a very common illness, many persons are still not aware of Lupus and the symptoms or treatment options for the disease.
The symposium, she explained, aims to raise awareness among patients, doctors and the public about Lupus, its effect on the immune system and advances in the treatment options of the disease.
“When people speak about cancer you understand, but with Lupus you are blank. How do you show you have joint pains, chronic fatigue? Raising the level of awareness means hope to those suffering from the illness,” she stated.
This chronic illness affects all races, socioeconomic groups and age groups. Ninety per cent of those with the disease are women, and its onset most often occurs between the ages of 16 and 36, she related.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, whether the skin, joints and/or organs inside the body. The most common symptoms are painful or swollen joints (arthritis), muscle pain, unexplained fever, extreme fatigue and kidney problems. A characteristic skin rash, commonly called the butterfly or malar rash, may also appear across the nose and cheeks.
The costs to attend the symposium are: Members of the Lupus Foundation and students with ID cards, $300; medical practitioners, $1,000; and the public, $500.

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