The Rheumatology unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital has invited sufferers of the disease and other specialists to an interactive forum as the hospital joins their counterparts all over the world to commemorate this year’s world lupus day.

According to the renowned professor of rheumatology, Prof Femi Adelowo; ‘there is no awareness about lupus before this time but we are happy we are establishing the awareness for the disease in LASUTH’, Prof Adelowo described lupus as an autoimmune disease that affects every other organs of the body from functioning properly.

While also corroborating Prof Adelowo’s remark, a consultant dermatologist, Dr. Akinkugbe frequent hair loss, exposure to sun, rashes on the face could be a pointer to lupus disease. Akinkugbe gave indications that wearing skimpy dresses, staying too long in the sun, self-medication on the skin among other things could be very dangerous and damaging to the skin of those who have lupus. She however advised the participants at the event and every other person to desist from staying long in the sun.

In his own comment, a consultant Rheumatologist, Dr. Hakeem Olaosebikan debunked the myth that lupus is only associated with women and that it doesn’t affect children, stressing that lupus can affect anybody and can also cause partial or total blindness or meningitis. The consultant Rheumatologist cautioned against stress and too much exposure to sun stating that stress could cause many other illnesses while exposure to sun could cause lupus to flare up.

Meanwhile, sufferers of lupus gave vivid accounts of the condition of the disease as sharp pains, frequent sore throat and reoccurring fever as the initial symptoms and later degenerates to affecting other organs of the body coupled with bedridden condition if the patient is not quickly attended to.
Some of the survivors argued that the disease is a death sentence in Nigeria because the patient is either stigmatized or condemned as being bewitched owing to lack of medical care and unavailability of drugs or lack of awareness.

However, Prof Adelowo disagreed with the survivors citing that diabetes or hypertension left untreated could as well be a killer disease anywhere in the World today.

However, he advised lupus patients to avoid exacting physical energy, eat good foods most especially fruits, and take their drugs properly and regularly. He also hints that there are lupus centers across the country that have been trained by LASUTH's specialists.

Other contributors from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) at the occasion harped on awareness creation as key to attacking the disease if Nigeria must win the war against lupus.

Story by:
Anifowoshe - Bello K.A.

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