The Executive Director of Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation (OYEMAM) Mrs. Emma Sweetness Danso called for the establishment of a national autoimmune commission to address the challenges of lupus and other autoimmune patients.
She also called on the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Services and other related stakeholders to give attention to the establishment of lupus clinics in the major teaching hospitals in Ghana.
Mrs. Danso said, information from the World Lupus Federation indicate that many physicians worldwide including Ghana are unaware of symptoms and health effects of lupus, causing people with lupus to suffer for many years before they obtain a correct diagnosis and medical treatment.
"The psychological impact of lupus can be as devastating as its physical complications” she said and asked corporate organizations, religious bodies and the public to support advocacy and awareness initiatives to bring greater attention, resources and support to individuals and families affected by lupus.
Ghana on May 10, joined other nations worldwide to observe World Lupus Day (WLD) and create awareness about Lupus, a chronic health condition in which the body, among other things, produces antibodies that attack its own healthy cells and tissues.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Let’s join together to end lupus” with emphasis on the need for education about the physical, economic, emotional and social impact of lupus, specialty care and emotional support for the millions of people living with lupus
Mrs. Danso who is also a lupus warrior said “there is war within our bodies daily because of Lupus. We are overwhelmed by the debilitating impact of the condition on the quality of our lives and our caregivers are also burning out from support fatigue.”
She said knowledge is key in fighting lupus and encouraged Ghanaians to learn all they could about lupus to help improve the lives of those affected as well as ensure early report and diagnosis for patients
The OYEMAM Foundation which is a member of the World Lupus Federation is focused on raising awareness about lupus, generating support for people affected by lupus, advocating for better access to healthcare and policies that will allow lupus patient to live normal lives in Ghana.
In 2017, the Ministry of Health on behalf of the government of Ghana acknowledged lupus as a significant public health concern and ratified a proclamation for the observance of World Lupus Day on May 10 annually. 2019 marks Ghana’s third year of observance of World Lupus Day.