Lupus Foundation welcomes addition of NHF subsidy list

Friday, March 22, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) board and its members welcome yesterday's announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that Lupus is to be included as one of the chronic conditions attracting a subsidy from the National Health Fund (NHF).

LFJ has provided its members with access to pharmacy discounts, support group meetings, and health professionals for over 30 years, in addition to our ongoing efforts to increase public awareness of the disease. We applaud this measure as an act of compassion and an indication of greater awareness of Lupus, its prevalence in Jamaica, and the ongoing expenses incurred by affected persons.

Lupus is a chronic or lifelong illness caused by dysfunction of the immune system, and can be a very expensive disease to treat. LFJ hopes that all drugs used to treat Lupus will be on the NHF subsidy list, including drugs treating kidney disease, such as mycophenylate mofetil.

Jamaica is considered to have a high prevalence of the disease with an estimated affected 6,000 people. Lupus most commonly has its onset among young women, but individuals of any gender or age can be affected.

The Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is a voluntary patient organisation and has been in operation since 1984. It aspires to improve the outcome of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus through a better awareness and a deeper understanding of the disease. One of its major activities is patient support and counselling. The foundation encourages research in areas of diagnosis and treatment of Lupus.

Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid

President

Lupus Foundation of Jamaica

rheumjamaica@ymail.com

lupusfoundationjamaica.org


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