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May is Lupus Awareness Month - what do you know about it?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Lupus is a condition in which the immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body. There are believed to be around five million people living with the condition globally.

Although it affects people of all ages and sexes, women are more likely to get it. People of African and Asian descent also are disproportionately affected to the condition compared to their European counterparts.

The cause of the condition is still unknown but it is likely that it is the result of genetics and environment. It appears that some people have an inherited predisposition to the condition that is triggered when they come into contact with something in the environment.

Symptoms include fatigue, rashes, allergies, depression and kidney failure. It can often be misdiagnosed and that is why it is called the 'great mimic'. The condition can range in intensity from mild to life-threatening, which is why it is important to seek medical advice.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-systemic chronic autoimmune inflammatory condition which can impair performance in daily activities and also affect one's quality of life," said Angela Berkoh, president of the Global Lupus Outstanding Warriors (GLOW) group, and part of The Rheumatology Initiative ata tRi Ghana.

tRi Ghana delivers education, advocacy and research into autoimmune rheumatic conditions in Ghana and across Africa. The organisation is collaborating with the World Lupus Federation to bring awareness of Lupus by highlighting the impacts of lupus on physical function and quality of life during Lupus Awareness Month.

As it stands there is no cure but organisations such as tRi Ghana are set up to support people in managing their symptoms.

Alongside sharing facts about lupus this month, the organisation have enlisted the help of its GLOW warriors to share their experiences of living with lupus.

"Help us spread awareness by interacting and sharing facts and information published," Angela added. "Let's paint the world purple, shall we?"

Find out more by visiting the tRi Ghana website.

Did You Know

Did you know that with certain autoimmune conditions, like lupus, can affect your eyes and make you prone dry eyes and having to use artificial tears. But beware about which brand you use.

In February 2023, Global Pharma Healthcare recalled EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears because of potential bacterial contamination that could cause eye infections and vision loss.

EzriCare Artificial Tears is a brand of eye lubricant used to relieve or protect against dry, irritated eyes.

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