Nearly 200 nonprofit lupus patient organizations around the globe have joined together for World Lupus Day on May 10 to elevate lupus on the international stage and deliver a global rallying cry to bring greater attention and resources to combat this serious and incurable autoimmune disease that affects more than five million people worldwide.
There is no boundary to the physical, emotional and economic impact of lupus. The disease affects people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages. Lupus can affect any part of the body in any way at any time, often with unpredictable and life-changing results. Lupus is potentially disabling, which may prevent a person from working, and requires lifelong medical care. While lupus knows no boundaries, knowing all one can about lupus can help control its impact.
World Lupus Day is the first event sponsored by the newly formed World Lupus Federation (WLF). The WLF, spearheaded by the Lupus Foundation of America, unites lupus patient groups around the world to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. The WLF is guided by an international steering committee representing five continents to ensure a coordinated effort among global lupus organizations and enhance their capacity to serve people with lupus through programs of education, awareness and advocacy.
A key objective of the WLF is to establish partnerships with global and regional health organizations in order to develop public policies and programs that will support patients, their health care providers, families, and caregivers. The WLF initially will focus on raising global awareness of lupus, expanding the capacity of lupus patient organizations to serve people with lupus in their countries, and elevating lupus before government health ministries, the World Health Organization, and other international bodies that deal with public health issues.
Individuals can help raise awareness of lupus and show their support by signing the petition to the World Health Organization urging them to make lupus an international health priority and ensure that people with lupus around the world are diagnosed and treated effectively.
To sign the petition and download resources to raise understanding of lupus visit the World Lupus Day website, www.worldlupusday.org.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus is mostly hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal.
Since 2004, lupus organizations around the globe have conducted activities on May 10 to raise awareness and educate the public about the symptoms and health effects of lupus.