Consider a situation in which the immune system attacks tissues and organs, mistaking them for foreign bodies. What a disaster! One such chronic autoimmune disease is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which can affect and damage any part of the body, including the skin, kidneys, blood cells, and brain. Tuesday is World Lupus Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the disease’s global impact. According to data from the Lupus Trust of India, a public charitable trust, Kerala has approximately 40,000 lupus patients. Nationally, the figure is in the tens of thousands.
“A lack of awareness is a major issue that many patients face,” says Dr. Indu Gopi, a patient and co-founder of the Lupus Trust of India. “The patients require family members and society as a whole to empathise with the proper knowledge and awareness.”
The disease is more severe than cancer, but we receive no assistance. The battle begins at a very young age, as this disease is highly unpredictable. All you have to do is find a way to live with it and the excruciating pain through treatment.”
The World Lupus Day campaign emphasizes the importance of improved patient healthcare services, increased research into the causes and cure for lupus, and the importance of early diagnosis. “Delayed diagnosis can cause major organ damage.” We have seen many cases where the delay had a devastating effect on the patients and financially burdened them. “There is no permanent cure for the disease,” says Dr. Indu.