Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Consistent campaigns on lupus required, says Fatimah

BorneoPost Online 

KUCHING: Consistent campaigns similar to cancer awareness are needed to raise public understanding on the nature of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) disease.
Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said greater awareness would result in a better support system to help patients cope with the lifelong disease.
“Not many people know about lupus. Taking an example related by a lupus patient, it is understood that even in terms of diagnosis, doctors took years and conducted so many tests before they found out that a patient had SLE,” she said when commenting on the need to provide a stronger support system for SLE patients in the state.
“Therefore, as how we create awareness on cancer, everybody must play their role to educate the public on this disease. We can’t leave it to one party.
“Medical profession, survivors, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) must create better awareness about the sickness to ensure a better success rate. From here comes the support system in terms of finance, counselling and others. It has to be done that way.”
Fatimah added that this year, the ministry was active in its campaign on breast and cervical cancer through subsidies for patients to undergo mammograms and Pap smears for early detection.
In a report on Monday, Malaysian SLE Association Kuching chapter president Ingrid Ning had stressed the need for a strong support system to help patients cope with the stress and treatment.
SLE is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may effect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs.
Contracting lupus will result in the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissues, which could lead to chronic inflammation.

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