Jamaican Lupus Warriors Celebrities, Government, Doctors and Media join up to Make Lupus Visible on World Lupus Day

Kingston, Jamaica, May 13, 2022:  On May 10, 2022, Lupus Foundation of Jamaica joined in with Lupus advocacy groups around the world in the nineteenth annual observance of World Lupus Day, in an effort to call attention to and increase support for persons with Lupus in Jamaica.

The Jamaica campaign, dubbed LUPUS LEVEL UP: Make Lupus Visible, leading up to the day consisted of a Social Media campaign, television and radio interviews featuring medical experts and Lupus survivors (termed “Lupus Warriors”), displays at clinics, schools and business places, as well as distribution of purple ribbons and merchandise, with the public being encouraged to wear purple on May 10 in solidarity with those affected.  In addition, members of the Foundation organised walks (dubbed Make Strides for Lupus) and other activities in various locations across the island with images and recordings uploaded to Social Media pages.

The key event was a free mini- Health Fair held at Emancipation Park on May 10, where State Minister in Ministry of Health & Wellness, Juliette Cuthbert Flynn, and reigning Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall participated in the Opening Ceremony hosted by radio personality Mr Shannon-Dale Reid.  Other participants included President Elect of Medical Association of Jamaica Dr Leslie Meade and Board Members of Lupus Foundation of Jamaica.  Loiette Donegan and Audrey Malcolm, members of the Foundation living with Lupus, respectively said a prayer and shared a poem “My Lupus Strides” prepared for the occasion.  Both participated with the Minister and the Beauty Queen in a symbolic release of purple balloons.

President Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid expressed gratitude to all those who took time to support the event and other activities. “It is heart-warming to see the outpouring of support being shown by the Government, personalities like Miss Jamaica World, the Medical Community, lupus warriors, volunteers, media and supporters by their presence with us today…It is our hope that greater understanding and continued support promoted by occasions like these will indeed save lives and improve outcomes.”

State Minister Flynn, in officially opening the event, commended the Foundation for it’s efforts. “The work of advocacy plays a vital role in ensuring that systems are in place to give support – connecting those affected with information and care to better their outcomes. I wish to commend the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica for its on-the-ground work in building a community of care for those affected by Lupus.”

Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall spent quite some time interacting with Lupus Warriors, volunteers and Medical Professionals at the Event where she was seen graciously accommodating photo opportunities and conversations.  She commented, “I have a close family friend with an autoimmune disease and though it is not lupus, I've seen how severely it can impact someone's health and personal life. There definitely isn't enough public awareness around lupus and so I feel grateful to be able to use my platform as Miss Jamaica World to help the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica to raise awareness around this debilitating disease.” 

Attendees received free health checks including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks, courtesy of National Health Fund with support of staff of Diabetes Association. Other Organisations participating in the Health Fair included Medical Professional associations like Jamaica Physiotherapy Association, Dermatology Association of Jamaica and Jamaica Kidney Kids who made presentations to attendees.  Mandeville Regional Pathology unit were strongly represented including their head Dr Racquel Lowe-Jones, a board member and one of the Organisers of the event.  She was accompanied by Dr Vitilius Holder of the Southern Regional Health Authority who treated attendees to an interactive Hula Hoop session that ended the day on a positive note.

For those unable to be present, a Live Broadcast by Riddim FM, hosted by Vernon Derby on his new show Spot On, kept listeners fully involved with interviews and conversations with health professionals, Lupus Warriors and volunteers. Sponsors of the event included Seaboard Jamaica, Guardian Group Foundation and National Health Fund.


About the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ)

Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is a member-based, volunteer-run charitable Organisation in operation since 1984 that seeks to improve the lives and outcomes of persons affected by lupus through information, support, advocacy and research.  The Foundation is seeking support through donations and volunteers to maintain an increasing demand for support services by persons impacted by lupus.  For assistance or to learn more about what the Foundation is doing, visit

  • 12 Oct 2020 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    Kingston, Jamaica- October 9, 2020- Iana Tickle Garcia, the reigning Miss Jamaica Universe, is on a drive to promote lupus awareness in Jamaica.  Iana along with friends Umeko Chin and Terina Dryden, fellow contestants from the 2019 Miss Jamaica Universe competition, have re-united around a common cause – Lupus Awareness.

    On Thursday, October 8, the three friends paid an early morning visit to Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) Learning Centre where they donned branded T-shirts with awareness and inspirational messages and posed for pictures to promote sales of items in support of the Foundation's Fundraising efforts.  

    Iana became involved with the Lupus Awareness cause through her friendship with Umeko Chin, a Lupus advocate and survivor who advanced to the finals of the 2019 Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant.

    Over the course of the Pageant, she educated all of us about her disease, what she goes through, and slowly but surely she introduced all of us to the Lupus Foundation.” Tickle Garcia said.  
    Jamaica is believed to have one of the highest rates of Lupus worldwide with an estimated 6000 Jamaicans affected.
    Members of the public are also being encouraged to Put On Purple on Fridaysfor the month of October and collect posters and informational material for local displays. Visit the LFJ websiteor contact their office at 876-754-8458, for further information, to purchase merchandise, register for an event, join, donate or volunteer.  

    “…after the pageant, I decided that I want to become more involved to help her and her efforts… because I believe in what they (LPJ) are doing. I realise that it is not something that many are aware of, especially how it affects us… and I always wanted to be a part of that, and help my friend.”

    Umeko, a 23 year old Tourism major, who now sits on the Board of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica and has helped with planning of the Lupus Awareness Campaign, called on her friends to help model branded LPJ merchandise commissioned by the Foundation to raise awareness and raise funds for the cause.

    The shirts, sporting captions such as "Born To Be Awesome", "I Can I will" and "I Am Stronger Than I Feel" were designed by Lot60 Apparel's Randy Fagan. Branded facemasks and wrist bands were also designed for the effort. Lot60 designs were sponsors of Umeko during her participation as a finalist in the 2019 Miss Jamaica Universe.

    Lupus is an autoimmune condition, which means it is caused by a dysfunctional immune system that attacks healthy organs and tissues causing damage. The disease typically starts young, with an average age of onset of 22, and is lifelong, with women affected 9 times more than men. Symptoms can include fatigue or weakness, joint pains, severe skin rashes, hair loss and even organ disease particularly the kidneys, as well as heart, lung, brain or nervous system.

    Activities being promoted during the 2020 campaign include sale of branded merchandise (T-shirts, masks, bands), Laps for Lupus Awareness/Laps Your Waycampaign, a Virtual Event on Oct 11 - 18 and a free virtual Lupus Symposium on November 1, 2020

    About the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LPJ)

    Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is a member-based, volunteer run charity established in 1984 and dedicated to improving the lives and outcomes of persons affected by lupus through information, support, advocacy and promoting research in the field.  The Organisation, (as with other similar groups in the Commonwealth), observes October as Lupus Awareness Month, a time when the Foundation ramps up its efforts to sensitise and educate Jamaicans about this disease in an effort to ensure persons affected receive early diagnosis and access to effective treatment and support.

    We are located at 7 Barbados Avenue, Kingston 5

  • 3 Oct 2020 8:21 PM | Anonymous

    Use your camera or smartphone and record yourself answering a few questions and use to send it to between October 1st and 14th. Your videos should be no longer than 10 minutes long. 

    Disclaimer: Your video is not guaranteed to be selected due to the limited slots available. Your video might be edited to tighten your story. By submitting your video, you have expressly given the Lupus Foundation Jamaica the permission to use your recording for current and future promotions and awareness events conducted by the Lupus Foundation Jamaica.

    Instructions on recording video with a smartphone. at home without any equipment


    Other tips

    Other Instructions

    1. Do not do a selfie holding your camera with your hand. The footage can often be shaky and jarring to the viewer's eyes.

    2. Film in a quiet place away from loud noises like traffic, dogs barking or people shouting.

    3. Ensure your face is lit by turning on a lamp and pointing it toward your face or filming facing a window.

    4. Do not film yourself far away from the camera. You will sound better the closer you are to the video.

    5. Read the questions and familiarize yourself with your answers before recording.

    6. Ensure the video is in focus so we can see you clearly.

    7. Lastly, relax, be yourself and speak from the heart.


    • Do you have lupus, or are you closely connected to someone with lupus (share how)?
    • In what ways have you (or your loved one) most been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?  Or How are things different for you than before?
    • How are you reacting or adapting to these changes?
    • If we were able to get together experts in a room, to provide solutions and tools to address to your most pressing issues related to life during Covid-19 (as a lupus patient/caregiver), what would you most want them to address or share about?”

  • 2 Oct 2020 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members and Friends

    It’s that time of year again and Covid-19 will not stop us!  We are all set for this annual season of Lupus Awareness Month in October when we ramp up our efforts to raise awareness about lupus about all over Jamaica and beyond.  Knowledge about lupus saves lives!  And this year there are so many ways for you to get involved!

    FOLLOW OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES on Facebook and Instagram and our Social Media posts!  Join us throughout the month of October for our special features:

    ·        Lupus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    ·        Motivational Mondays

    ·        Lupus Dos and Don’ts

    ·        Your Story Fridays video shares - real lupus patients share their journey and insights


    Sunday October 4 @ 8:30 am Lupus Awareness Month Church Service at Meadowbrook United Church:

    Join us as we launch the Month with worship and praise with the Meadowbrook United Church family via livestream:  Please note that in-person attendance is by special arrangement only, so get in touch with us by Monday Sept 28, 2020 if you need to attend in person!

    Wed Oct 7, 2020 @ 6:00 pm Ask the Expert Live:  Diet & Lifestyle with Lupus:  Your Questions Answered  with Dr Michelle Hamilton, Naturopathic physician and Lifestyle Practitioner.  Text in your questions and be there for the launch of our monthly live programme where an Expert will be on for 30 minutes live to answer all your burning questions, every first Wed at 6:00 - 6:30 pm, streamed live on our Facebook page and YouTube.

    Oct 1 - 14, Covid-19 and Lupus Survey and Vox Pop interview:  We are all experiencing the effects of Covid-19 differently. We want to know how persons with lupus are feeling and coping and what your challenges and needs are.  Complete our online survey and if willing record your answers to our vox pop questions and help make your voice heard!  Results will be presented at our Free Virtual Lupus Symposium on Sun Nov 1.

    Oct 11 - 18 Laps for Lupus Awareness/Laps Your Way Lupus Awareness and Fundraising Campaign with Live Fun Virtual Event!  Covid-19 will not stop us!  We are doing it bigger and better - So sign up and help us promote Lupus Awareness in every part of Jamaica.  Invite your family, friends, and co-workers!  Collect your sign-up sheets, purple ribbons and flyers, or simply share our invitation through your Social media and WhatsApp contacts to our online registration page.  Purchase branded T-shirts, masks, bands and buttons. Do Laps Your Way and share or tag us on your pics, then join us at a Fun Virtual Event for music, workouts for everyone, motivational and health tips, prizes, and surprises!

    Oct 1 - 31 Poster & Print Campaign:  You can get involved in our annual Request our Lupus Awareness Posters and Brochures, and NHF registration forms, to share at our office, church or even your local clinic or doctor's office!  Just contact us and provide your details by Wed October 7.

    Oct 2 - 30 Put on Purple Fridays:  Help promote Lupus Awareness at your workplace by wearing something purple each Friday during October and encouraging your co-workers to join you.  Our branded memorabilia (T-shirts, masks, bands and buttons) and purple ribbons will be available soon through the office or we can arrange delivery for you.  Get in touch!

    Sun November 1:  10:00 am to 2:00 pm:  live Virtual Lupus Symposium :  Back to the Future:  Embracing New Normals in Lupus Management, Research and Life  Registration is FREE!  Hear our International and local experts speak on the Immune System, Lupus & Covid-19, Hydroxychloroquine & the Heart, Precision Medicine in Lupus, Patient-Centred Research in Lupus; Hear results of our Covid-19 Survey and Vox PopThe Way Forward: Life with Lupus during and after Covid-19 - expert panel helps us chart the way forward in areas of work, finance, mental health, relationships, health care and more; all spiced with a little music and humour.  Invite your friends and family and also your health practioners for Continuing Medical Education credits!  Contact us if you need a poster for your clinic and share on your social media

    Let's Do This!  We want to say a huge thank our volunteers for all their hard work in planning this amazing campaign!  But we can't do this alone.  We need more members, volunteers and donations to keep our cause going - to raise awareness, advocate and keep supporting our warriors.  Let's all get involved this month and rally support for our cause!  Let's Join together to Fight Lupus!

    May you be safe, healthy and blessed

  • 15 Jun 2020 12:51 AM | Anonymous

    Five Finger Fundraising Campaign 

    Sponsor Letters 

    If you have one or more potential sponsors, please contact us by WhatsApp, email or telephone with the details and we will create the sponsor letter on your behalf.

    WhatsApp Message Forwarding 

    You can create a message with the particulars of your campaign and forward that message to up to 250 of your contacts and friends. Check out our sample message script below. 

    Facebook Posting and Sharing - 

    Create a facebook post inviting your friends to support your campaign and ask them to share with their friends.  Please see example of Posts below.

    Matching Funds Campaign 

    If you work for an organization of a dozen or more employees, you can ask your employer to join in a matching funds campaign.  If approved, you would make a request of your fellow employees and your company would match the amount collected by using the agreed upon formula. The LFJ will provide the letter to your employer.  See our contact info below.

    Personal Donation Onetime or Recurring

    You can make a pledge of $500 or more JMD one time or monthly recurring payment and our system will remind you when its due.  See the details below.

    Contact Information:


    Telephone: Office 876-754-8458 or 876-778-3892 (Voice/Text/Whatsapp)

    Campaign Information

    (1)  To request a sponsor letter - email or call us with the name and address of the potentical sponsor

    (2,3)  Scripts for your WhatsApp and Facebook campaign messages follow below.

    (4)  For matching Funds - Email or text us with the name of the company, the name of the manager, his or her title along with the company address.  Our letter will detail how the campaign works along with the start and end dates.

    (5) Do donate, go to our website, click on donate and either use one of the donation buttons or make a payment from your bank account. All payment information has been posted on our Donate page. Click Donate now. Also, let us know how much you plan to donate so that we can project our income.

    You are not alone

    Lupus Foundation of Jamaica

    WhatsApp sample script

    Hi there! This is (Your name).  You are a valued member of my friends and family network so I writing to let you know that I am a member of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) because many of my friends and family has been impacted by Lupus.

    I am participating in a fundraising campaign to ensure that our programs and services continue to be available to existing Lupus patients and to newly diagnosed persons.   The LFJ is a member sponsored charity and donations have slowed due to Covid-19.

    With your gift of $500 JM or $5 US or more by June 30th 2020, we will reach our goal of $4 million dollars this year.

    Your kind consideration is greatly appreciated.  Please text me to say "I am in", so I can keep track.  You can click this link to donate securely online right now.  If you are paying online please use the Add Note section of the payment window to say: On [your name]'s behalf. 

    Facebook sample script

    Hi Friends:

    You are a valued member of my friends and family network so I writing to let you know that I am a member of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) because many of my friends and family has been impacted by Lupus.

    I am participating in a fundraiser to ensure that our programs and services continue to be available to existing Lupus patients and to newly diagnosed persons.   The LFJ is a member sponsored charity and donations have slowed due to Covid-19.

    With your gift of ($500 JM $5 US) or more by June 30th 2020, we will reach our goal of $4 million dollars (JM) this year.

    Your kind consideration is greatly appreciated.  Please message me to say "I am in", so I can keep track.  You can click this link to donate securely online right now.

    If you are paying online please use the Add Note section for the payment window to say:On [your name]'s behalf. 

  • 9 May 2020 9:34 PM | Anonymous

    The World Lupus Federation conducted a global survey on how lupus affects physical function and quality of life. The survey consisted of 11 questions and responses were submitted from April 10 to April 26. More than 4,000 people responded to the survey with over 3,500 complete responses. Participants from more than 70 countries completed the survey. The survey results highlight that lupus impacts physical function and quality of life. Topline results of the survey include:

    • Nearly 7 in 10 participants responded that lupus impacted mobility, including 1 in 10 that needed a cane or another apparatus. Overall, younger people with lupus report being less impacted by physical functioning or social impact compared to older people with lupus.
    • Nearly 1 in 5 participants responded that lupus significantly affected (“limited a lot”) their ability to perform childcare or care for your family. 3 in 5 participants responded that lupus in some way limited their ability to go up and down stairs at a normal pace.
    • Nearly 3 in 4 participants responded that they are physically less active than other persons their age who do not have lupus.
    • Nearly 9 in 10 participants responded that lupus interfered with normal social activities with family, friends, neighbors or groups. Nearly 4 in 10 responded that lupus interfered “quite a bit” or “extremely.” 
    • Nearly 9 in 10 participants responded that pain interfered with normal activities, including both work outside the home and housework. 3 in 10 responded that lupus interfered “quite a bit” or “extremely.”

    Overall, people with lupus who report their lupus diagnosis taking two years or more experience higher physical burden and social impact than those who receive their diagnosis within 12 months. Those with skin lupus (DLE or other) are less affected physically, whereas those with SLE experience highest impact, particularly with pain. One thing all people with lupus seem to experience, despite different types of lupus, is difficulty getting out of bed.

    Survery results can be found here.

  • 6 May 2020 4:41 PM | Anonymous

    World Lupus Federation issues global report for World Lupus Day highlighting the life-altering effects of lupus and the challenges people with lupus face every day.

    (Washington DC) Almost half (43%) of people living with lupus responding to a 2017 poll indicated that they worry the most about physical inactivity and social isolation due to the debilitating effects the autoimmune disease has on the body. Nearly half (47%) of the participants also felt that the impact lupus has on daily living is most misunderstood by their physician, while almost one-third (30%) believed that the emotional impact is most misunderstood.Almost half (47%) of those who responded to the World Lupus Federation (WLF) poll indicated they want better management and treatment options available to them through their physician.

    Only one treatment developed specifically for lupus has received regulatory approval since the 1950’s.These opinions are included in the “Lupus Knows No Boundaries e-Report,” developed through a collaboration between the WLF GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and for World Lupus Day (May 10).

    The report brings together firsthand experiences of people with lupus, their advocates and those who treat them, to tell the real story of lupus, highlight-ing the ongoing physical and emotional needs of those who are affected by this incur-able disease. The full report is available online at

    “I first came to know lupus through my childhood friend, Lucy Vodden, about whom the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was written,” said Julian Lennon, photographer, author, musician, philanthropist and global ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of America. “It was Lucy’s struggles that opened my eyes to how devastating the burden of lupus is on millions of individuals and their families.”

    Shannon Boxx was a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, winning three Olympic gold medals before her retirement in 2015. But for most of her career, she was secretly carrying the burden of a lupus diagnosis. “I decided to speak publicly about lupus because I was tired of hiding it. I was at a point in my career where I knew I probably wasn’t going to play much longer and I felt I had a real responsibility, being in the public eye, to talk about lupus and bring more awareness,” said Boxx.

    Public awareness of lupus remains stubbornly low, contributing to public misunderstand-ing and misconceptions about the disease. A 2016 global opinion survey* found that over half of the respondents (51%) were unable to identify the physical complications associated with lupus and more than a third (35%) did not even know that lupus was a disease.

    The World Lupus Federation, a global coalition of lupus patient groups, is working to raise the public profile of the disease.

    “We’re calling for everyone to unite and take action on behalf of those affected by lupus,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President & CEO of the Lupus Foundation America which serves as the Federation’s Secretariat. “By shining a light on lupus we can ensure that friends and family, healthcare professionals, employers, government officials, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies are aware and informed of the many and varied challenges that people with lupus face.”

    “The e-Report and Twitter Poll findings show that there is more that can be done to raise awareness, understanding and prioritization of this debilitating disease and to give patients the confidence to speak up about the impact of their symptoms,” said Dr. Alex Liakos, Global Medical Affairs, GSK. “At GSK, we are delighted to have been able to collaborate with the World Lupus Federation and look forward to continuing to support the needs of those living with lupus in future campaigns.”

    “It’s our responsibility to get involved and do whatever we can to help fight this unpredictable and misunderstood disease,” said Julian Lennon. “It is my goal to keep fighting and bringing attention to lupus so we can raise the money needed to develop better treatments, provide support to people affected and fund the research that someday will bring an end to lupus and its brutal impact on people’s lives.” 

  • 26 Apr 2020 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    • Global Survey (Closes Apr 27): This year’s global survey will focus on how lupus impacts physical function and quality of life. We encourage you to take the survey and to share the link with other persons who have lupus.  One of our plans this year is to promote the importance of low impact exercise for people living with lupus.   We will be sharing those resources with you in the upcoming weeks.

  • 16 Apr 2020 10:22 AM | Anonymous


    We acknowledge that everyone is worried about corona. What is it and what do we know about it?  Covid-19 is a newly emerged virus from the corona family that has been spreading in some parts of Asia and more recently in Europe with a few mostly imported cases being documented in cities in the USA the Caribbean (two cases confirmed in Jamaica) and has been declared a pandemic by the WHO. 


    It causes flu-like symptoms that in some cases (less than 5 %) have resulted in respiratory (lung) complications that in some cases have been fatal.  However, it has been noted that a greater proportion of the more severe cases have been in older persons and those with chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or respiratory diseases

    While we do not know if any lupus patients have been affected, we know generally that persons with lupus are more vulnerable to infections due to the disease itself and well as some of the medications used to control it. 

    What should you do?


    a)  Avoid Infection

    Make every precaution to avoid infection:

    ·        Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (palm, between fingers and back of hand for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home when you are sick.

    ·        Sensitise your household members and co-workers about the above as this will also help to reduce your risk of infection.

    ·        Travel internationally only when necessary and with proper assessment of the risk in the area and with the appropriate precautions.  Be advised by your doctor.  If booking some time forward, take out travel insurance in case you need to reschedule.

    Managing Lupus Medications during Covid-19 

    It is important to know how to manage your meds.


    ·        Do not stop your medications because you are worried about getting coronavirus.  Being on steroids and medicines known as "immunosuppressives" like azathioprine (imuran, Azoran) or mycophenylate mofetil (cellcept) can lower your body's defenses to viruses.  On the other hand having a flare of your lupus disease also lowers the defenses, with persons with lupus having the highest risk of infection and succombing to infection, during a flare.  So stopping these medicines may not help your situation.  Also you might end up needing even higher doses of medicines including steroids to get back under control.

    ·        On the other hand, should you develop an infection or suspected infection, some of your medications may need to be adjusted or stopped.  Your doctor will need to advise you and closely monitor your lupus in this case.

    ·        Take hydroxychloroquine even if you are sick.  Hydroxychloroquine is one of the medications recommended for lupus patients to help keep lupus stable (prevent flares) Hydroxychloroquine is not "immunosuppressive" ie lowering ones defenses and does not need to be stopped during an infection.  In fact it is being tried by some doctors in asia for covid cases which could potentially affect supply, so make sure you are properly stocked.


    Know the signs so you can recognise them in yourself or others.

    Covid-19 virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness

    Symptoms can include

    ·        fever

    ·        cough 

    ·        shortness of breath

    and may occur 2-14 days after exposure (contact with the person or surface that transmitted the virus)

    Seek medical advice 

    ·        if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or 

    ·        if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.


    Educate others.  Preventing spread if everyone's business:  

    Avoid spreading the virus in the same way you avoid contracting the virus

     wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food

    ·        avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

    ·        stay home when you are sick

    ·        cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then thow the tissue in the trash




    Helpful links:



     Manpower and Maintenance Service Limited’s Workshop - CORONAVIRUS: FACTS NOT FEAR-FIGHTING BACK

    Top of Form

    Bottom of Form


  • 12 Apr 2020 2:43 PM | Anonymous

    Learning Centre Closure

    We want to let you know that our Lupus Learning Centre at 7 Barbados Avenue will be closed to the public for the remainder of the month of April i.e.: April 14 - 30, 2020.  We will keep you updated on re-opening and hours as soon as possible.

    Continuing Services

    Please note that we will be continuing to serve you our members.

    • We will be monitoring our email and social media (Facebook and instagram), as well as voicemail periodically.  
    • For urgent matters requiring assistance, Members may also contact our help line (call, text or whatsapp) at  (876)778-3892.
    • Online Counselling Services are available to members on an appointment basis, courtesy of our Health Counsellor, Rev Neilson Waithe.  Email or message us to book your appointment.
    •  We invite you to monitor our website for news and updates.


    • You are encouraged to keep your membership up-to-date to continue to access your member benefits.  You can check your membership status and update your information here.

    • We are able to receive your membership dues and donations via online transfer to our account.

    • Funds are needed at this time to sustain our operations, particularly as many of our planned fundraising efforts are on hold at this time. Consider supporting us as a sustaining donor though a small monthly contribution, or contact us so we can support your fundraising venture.  Every bit counts!

  • 25 Mar 2020 9:01 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members and Friends

    There has been growing concern among members of the community who may be anticipating or having trouble obtaining their prescription drugs, particularly hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, HCQS, Apo-hydroxy), following recent reports of the drug's possible use for treating Covid19 infection.  It should be noted studies are still underway of this drug and several other medications being tried to ameliorate the effects of severe covid19 infection and are still not conclusive.

    What is hydroxychloroquine and why its use for lupus?

    1. Hydroxychloroquine was originally a developed for the prevention and treatment of malaria but now is most widely used for the control of a variety of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.  
    2. For persons with lupus, hydroxychloroquine is considered an essential drug recommended for all lupus patients, due to its important role in stabilizing disease and preventing flares.  Flares in lupus are periods of increased disease activity associated with uncontrolled inflammation that can lead to increased symptoms, risk of organ damage or sometimes life-threatening complications.  
    3. Hydroxychloroquine also lowers the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack and uncontrolled clotting problems that are particularly common in lupus patients.  
    4. Used alone or in combination with other drugs, it has a unique and essential role in in lupus treatment. 

    Managing Your medications during the Covid19 outbreak

    1. We recognise that lupus patients are considered to be among the vulnerable group for severe Covid19 infection both as a result of the disease itself and the immunosuppressive drugs often required for controlling the disease.  
    2. It is not advised, however, that patients with lupus stop their medication due to fear of contracting Covid19 disease, because stopping your treatment can lead to a flare of the lupus.  Should a flare occur, in addition to the risk of organ damage, the risk of infection may become even higher. Remaining on your medications including hydroxychloroquine helps prevent such flares.  
    3. In the case of Covid19 or other infection, steroids and some immunosuppressive medications may need to be adjusted as instructed by your doctor; however, hydroxychloroquine is not considered immunosuppressive and can usually be continued in the presence of infection.  


    Ensuring Your Supply of Medication

    In the presence of the outbreak, the Foundation has advised its members to take maximum precautions to avoid infection and also to ensure that they maintain a continuous supply of all their medications, including hydroxychoroquine.  

    There are, fortunately, several measures now in place to assist you with maintaining a steady supply of your medication during the covid19 outbreak.:

    1)    Lupus patients along with other vulnerable patients can secure up to three (3) months’ supply of your medications on a single visit to the pharmacy.  This applies to public patients (using Government hospitals and clinics) using the DrugServ pharmacies and also to private patients using private sector pharmacies

    a)    Private sector patients can purchase 3 months' supply drugs at reduced cost due to the following:

    i)       National Health Fund subsidy has been extended to up to 3 months:  

    (1)  lupus is covered on the individual benefits programme - systemic lupus since April 2019 and other forms of lupus including discoid lupus since February 2020 - Lupus patients should ensure they have signed up for this programme

    (2)  the subsidy available under the NHF has been extended to up three months (instead of the usual 30 days) due to the covid outbreak until July 2020

    ii)     several insurance companies have extended the allowable supply of drugs to be covered in one refill by an extra month, up to three months in the case of Sagicor and two months in the case of Medicus.

    b)    For Public Sector users (who utilise government hospitals and Clinics) utilising NHF's DrugServ Pharmacies

    i)       up to 3 month's supply of medications can now be dispensed, subject to availability, for all patients with chronic conditions, instead of the usual 30-day supply

    ii)     additional supplies have been ordered in anticipation of increase demand and supply chain disruptions

    iii)    prescriptions remain available free of cost as usual

    2)    To minimise risk of exposure while filling prescriptions, patients are being encouraged to use the drop off and pick up service offered by their pharmacy 

    a)    For Public Sector users of DrugservPharmacies convenience measures include

    i)       scheduled refill service

    ii)     priority service

    iii)    Quick Prescript app via your smart phone or kiosk

    3)    If you do not have sufficient prescription refills to tide you over, we suggest you:

    a)    Keep your scheduled doctor's appointment - once you are satisfied that proper measures are in place at your doctor's office to prevent contact spread and allow for appropriate social distancing.

    b)    Get in touch with your doctor and request prescription refill.  Be prepared to update your lab work or to go in for an appointment if you have not been seen recently and the doctor requires this.

    c)     Take along an NHF Registration Form (yellow) or Update form (blue) if you are not yet registered with the NHF or your records have not yet been updated to reflect your lupus diagnosis

    We remain in close communication with Government agents and professional bodies to see what can be done to give priority to lupus patients in securing their medications in the context of a possible shift in demand or supply.

    We are thankful for the spirit of corporation being exhibited and join you in praying for our community and other vulnerable persons, our front-line workers, leaders and the nation for God's continued protection and guidance during this challenging time.




    You are not alone!


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Kingston 5, Jamaica, W.I.

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