Dr Amina Dorayi, a Public Health Physician with an Abuja-based international organisation, on Tuesday, described Lupus as a deadly disease and called for
increased awareness about it.

Dorayi made the call during a charity and awareness event organised by an NGO,“’Eye on Lupus Foundation” and other partners in Abuja.

According to her, Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue, noting that its signs and symptoms mimic others ailments.

She explained that “Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects mostly women and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks tissues and organs in the body.”

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She said the inflammation caused by lupus could affect body systems such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

She added that “Lupus takes two to four years to diagnose; Lupus is multi systematic disease which affects all the systems in the body; it is cruel and mysterious disease in the world.

“It is cruel because it makes an individual to feel he or she does not know what is wrong with them and it is when it gets to the terminal stage that it is seen.”

The public health physician said the most distinctive sign of Lupus was facial rash that resembled the wings of butterfly, unfolding across both cheeks, noting, however, that it may not occur in all cases.

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She said “the disease affects people of African, Asian, or Native American descent two to three times as often as it affects whites.

“Nine out of 10 people with Lupus are women and usually strikes between age 15 and 44, although it can occur in older persons.”

She said early diagnosis of the disease was most often better treated and called for increased
awareness through advertorials, feature writing in print, electronic and social media.

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Dr Nasir Ismail, a Neurosurgeon with Usmanu Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto, said the
cause of the disease was unknown and advised Nigerians to be cautious of their health and
avoid sedentary lifestyle.

The Founder of “Eye on Lupus Foundation”, Mrs Ummahani Amin, said the foundation was in memory of her sister — Maryam — who died of the disease early this year.

She said many Nigerian women were still ignorant of the disease, adding that women should know their health status and google information if in doubt. (NAN)