The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has called on the public to be aware of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), stressing the importance of its early detection and treatment.
The ministry also reiterated the necessity of controlling lupus so as to minimize its health effects especially on main organs including the heart, kidneys and lungs.
If not controlled, the lupus would result in turning the immune system responsible for protecting the body against itself, attacking healthy cells and tissues, which, in this case, develops into a life-threatening disease, MOHAP specialist medical practitioners said during an awareness workshop organized by the ministry’s Hospital Rheumatology Committee.
The workshop was held at the Le Méridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre on Saturday, recently, under the patronage of H.E. Yousif Mohammed Al Serkal, Assistant Undersecretary for the Hospital Sector.
Run by Dr. Suad Hannawi, consultant of Rheumatology and Chairman of the Rheumatology Committee at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the workshop aimed to raise awareness on lupus and the importance of its early detection and treatment in the presence of health practitioners including doctors, technical and nursing staff, as well as renowned rheumatologists and experts.
The participants discussed the latest developments in rheumatism treatment, prevalence rates and the role of genetic factor and mutations in the incidence of rheumatism. They also reviewed modern techniques and methods being followed to reduce the spread of rheumatism as well as its early detection procedures, analysis and symptoms, which require referring the patient to a rheumatologist to follow up with the case.
Lupus patient’s experiences
The workshop also touched on the lupus, its management options, its impact on the lungs and pregnancy, and featured an open discussion on related global statistics.
Among attendees were some lupus patients, who shared their experiences with lupus. A female doctor diagnosed with lupus also attended the workshop, speaking about her life with lupus from a doctor and patient perspective.
Early detection and diagnose
Dr. Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of Hospitals Administration, said: “The awareness workshop was held to take stock of the most recent healthcare developments and disseminate awareness on rheumatism among patients and technical staff.
The ministry is always keen to host lectures and workshops for doctors and patients, to highlight the importance of diagnosing and early detecting rheumatism through it symptoms, which necessitate referring the patient to specialists to follow up with the case and reduce morbidity”.
This workshop comes in line with the ministry’s strategy aiming to provide comprehensive health services and develop quality and safety systems for treatment, healthcare and medicine in accordance with the best international practices,” Al Baloushi added.
Symptoms & Diagnose
For her part, Dr. Suad Hannawi said that the workshop has shed light on the difficulty of diagnosing lupus due to different symptoms among patients and the absence of one specific test or symptom, which poses a real challenge for doctors.
The diagnosis process is often followed by a long period of testing in immunological laboratories. Lupus is diagnosed by identifying the medical history and clinical examination of its unique signs and monitoring the standards and criteria set by the European League Against Rheumatism and the American College of Rheumatology, Dr. Hannawi added.