Kingston, Jamaica, September 30, 2021: Unlike most chronic (or life-long) conditions, lupus is considered a disease of the young, with an average age of onset of 22 years and up to 20% of persons being diagnosed as children. With this in mind, the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (“LFJ” or “the Foundation”) has chosen the theme “Children and Youth With Lupus: Saving Lives Through Knowledge and Support” to anchor its observance of Lupus Awareness Month this October. The observance of October as focal point for Lupus is a seminal event each year in Jamaica and the wider Commonwealth territories.
Dr. Desiree Tulloch-Reid, Consultant Rheumatologist and President of LFJ points out that “Lupus in children and youth generally manifests more severely with more frequent involvement of critical organ systems such as kidney, nervous system and blood, causing lupus to be, unfortunately, one of the significant medical causes of death among youth in Jamaica.” Dr. Tulloch-Reid further adds that the disease can also have a far-reaching impact on a child’s physical, academic and social development.
On the other hand, greater awareness in the wider society can promote earlier detection and access to effective treatment, reduce stigma and encourage greater support for those living with lupus and their families.
Lupus is a serious lifelong autoimmune condition that occurs in high rates in Jamaica and Afro-Caribbean populations, with an estimated six thousand Jamaicans living with the sometimes life-threatening disorder.
Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is inviting corporate Jamaica and the Public at large to join in supporting a campaign aimed at increasing awareness and improving outcomes of Children and Youth living with Lupus.
The Lupus Awareness Month Campaign is supported by committed sponsors including Jamaica National Group and Barita Investments Limited. The campaign will engage the public through a Virtual Launch on October 1 at 10 am on their YouTube and Facebook pages. The programme then continues throughout the month with video features, live media interviews and enhanced public education efforts. Additional public engagement will be channelled through social media, school-based and community-based activities such as Church Service, Put-on-Purple Fridays and a Children’s Poster Competition.
As October progresses, the Lupus community and the general public can look forward to other key events, including a special edition of the Foundation’s monthly live Q & A virtual programme, Ask The Expert Live – Youth Edition, and a family-friendly virtual event, Laps for Lupus Awareness on October 17, 2021. Medical Professionals will also be engaged with a virtual Lupus Symposium on October 31, 2021 sponsored by the National Health Fund and livestreamed free to the public.
A 38-year-old charity, LFJ is inviting corporate Jamaica and all Jamaicans to support the campaign by participating in activities or sharing information on social media. The Foundation is always inviting and welcoming assistance with raising funds to continue essential programmes and services offered to its over three hundred members and the general public. Services being offered by the Foundation include a Help Centre, monthly newsletter, educational materials and programming, support group meetings, member medical assistance and counselling, advocacy and promotion of patient-centred research. The public is invited to visit the LFJ website or social media, or contact the Centre for more information about upcoming events and activities, the work the Foundation is doing, and guidance on how to join, donate or volunteer.
As Dr. Tulloch-Reid reminds, “knowledge about lupus does save lives and everyone can support the fight against Lupus.”
Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is a member-based, volunteer-run charity in operation since 1984 dedicated to improving the lives and outcomes of persons with lupus through information, support, advocacy and research. To Learn more about the work the LFJ is doing, visit website and social media pages:
website: www.lupusfoundationofjamaica.orgFacebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn
or to contact their Learning Centre at 7 Barbados Avenue, Kingston 5, Phone:876-754-8458, Helpline: 876-778-3892 email:email@example.com For more information about this article, contact Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 8765744954.