Last Saturday, the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association(SLALA) held a half day conference titled “Lupus Knows No Boundaries” at the Palm Haven Hotel. Attending were doctors, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, patients and members of the general public.
In her welcoming remarks, President of the Association, Dr. Celia McConnell-Downes noted that this conference was in keeping with the organisation’s mission to educate people and to bring awareness to this chronic, incurable, uncommon illness called lupus. She highlighted the fact that lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are also chronic, non communicable diseases and hoped that together with the Ministry of Health and corporate St. Lucia more attention and resources can be directed to helping persons with this condition. She went on to thank the ministry for their support in the Viv Byen programme ( Chronic Disease Self Management Programme) which was first pioneered in the Caribbean and Latin America by the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association.
The conference highlighted many interesting aspects and challenges to lupus including its management and saw presentations by Vice President of the association, Dr. Cleopatra Altenor, Rheumatologist, Dr. A. King, Psychotherapist Ms. F. Plummer, Nephrologist, Dr. M. Clarke, Deramologist, Dr. M. Grandison-Didier, Gynaecologist, Dr. C. Parris, Viv Byen Leaders Mary Joseph and PhanudaJawahir.
A presentation on life with lupus was also done by a patient, Ms. A. John. The panel discussions brought out several interesting questions and comments by participants who were all very attentive during the presentations.
The association thanked the attendees and presenters as well as their sponsors Peter and Company, Renwick and Sagicor Life.
To continue its awareness campaign, the association is encouraging persons to show support by wearing purple (POP) tomorrow and if possible to post on the association’s Facebook page.
For more information on the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association call 459-0092, email: email@example.com or visit our page on Facebook.