Health: the fight of the Lupus Gabon Association | Gabonreview.com

Considered a rare disease on a global scale, lupus nevertheless affects several individuals in Gabon. Chaired by a lupus sufferer diagnosed for more than fifteen years, the Lupus Gabon Association is campaigning for this debilitating disease to become a priority at the national level and to be integrated into non-communicable disease programs. She plans to organize, on May 23, therapeutic education workshops to raise awareness among those with lupus and as many people as possible.

Members of the ALG office including Armelle Oyabli (center). © GabonReview

This Friday, May 10, the world commemorated World Lupus Day, established in 2004. In Gabon, where no official activity was organized for this purpose, the president of the Lupus Association Gabon (ALG) held a press briefing to remind people of the seriousness of this rare, autoimmune and little-known disease. “Lupus is a chronic, non-contagious, but very debilitating disease that occurs when the immune system malfunctions and turns against the body’s own cells, destroying them.“, declared Armelle Oyabi. “It is a serious disease that occurs at all ages and mainly affects young women.“, she added.

Lupus symptoms, she said, vary greatly from person to person and any part of the body can be affected. Stating that the therapeutic means to treat lupus are not curative, but directed against the symptoms, she recalled that on her initiative, World Lupus Day was commemorated for the first time on May 10, 2012 in Gabon and then followed of the creation of the ALG, on April 5, 2013. Since then, the association she chairs has campaigned for the recognition of this disease in the country for better medical treatment.

Family photo, May 10, 2024. © GabonReview

To be reborn, to accept to live better with»

The birth of ALG, she said, resulted in better consideration of lupus in the training program from the 5e year of medicine and encouraged literary productions on illness. “We have also contributed to greater media coverage of this condition in our country, thus breaking some stigmas and offering renewed hope to patients.“, she said. “However, much remains to be done to make lupus visible so that it becomes a national priority and is integrated into noncommunicable disease programs“, said Armelle Oyabi referring to the ALG fight.

To raise awareness of lupus, the ALG plans to organize therapeutic education workshops on May 23 in collaboration with multidisciplinary specialists from the Libreville University Hospital Center (CHUL) to raise awareness, inform and educate patients and their loved ones to better understand lupus on several levels on a daily basis. “Therapeutic education for lupus patients is essential personalized support that improves quality of life by helping patients develop knowledge.“, declared Armelle Oyabi. “To be reborn, to accept to live better with”, is the symbolic value on which the ALG is based, which this year chose to raise awareness of the daily life of people with lupus.

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