The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has identified enlightenment campaigns and knowledge as powerful tools to defeat lupus or any existential challenge.
The minister stated this at the 2021 World Lupus Day, organised by Arise Monalisa Foundation, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Lupus is a disease that occurs when human body immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.
She noted that in view of the complexities associated with the silent killer disease, public awareness and the impact that it had on the lives of those affected must be scaled-up.
Aliyu, who described lupus as a common but often overlooked disease, also lamented that lupus as a chronic autoimmune disease had affected approximately five million people globally.
Represented by the Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, the minister said the fact that lupus was one of the most severe conditions that could lead to end-stage kidney disease made it scary.
“The medical difficulties associated with diagnosing and treating a poorly understood disease has negative impact on those with lupus.
“This is further compounded by a low level of public awareness and the fact that most symptoms of lupus are not visible to others.
“Collectively, these can lead to a greater emotional burden for patients,” Aliyu said.
She cautioned against stigmatisation of patients, noting that those who recognised lupus as a disease mistakenly believed that it was contagious.
According to her, a poor knowledge of the disease can lead to unnecessary social stigma for patients with lupus.
She pledged the commitment of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to support any organisation or group aimed at bringing an end the devastating impact of lupus.
Aliyu, however, called on critical stakeholders to make lupus visible using every available medium to show the world the many faces of lupus and its impact on patients.