The first-ever World Lupus Day observance occured on Monday, May 10, 2004, coinciding with the 7th International Congress on SLE and Related Conditions. Sandra C. Raymond, President of the Lupus Foundation of America, and Brian Hanner, Director of Lupus UK (United Kingdom), are co-chairs for this inaugural worldwide awareness event.
World Lupus Day will focus on the need for improved patient healthcare service, increased research into the causes of and a cure for lupus, enhanced physician diagnosis and treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus globally.
An international steering committee representing lupus organizations from nine countries met in London on January 23 and 24 to finalize plans for World Lupus Day activities around the globe. Each participating country will request that their government’s health ministry endorse the World Lupus Day Proclamation authored by the Steering Committee, and urge their citizens to learn about lupus. The crowning event will be a press event in New York City on May 10 at the Hilton New York Hotel..
A World Lupus Day international logo and website has been created to provide information about international efforts to promote lupus awareness. Visit the World Lupus Day website. The website includes a directory of international lupus groups and links to their websites, and updates on World Lupus Day activities around the globe. World Lupus Day is supported by a grant from the Pfizer Foundation.
Lupus is a global health problem. Individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic origin have higher prevalence of lupus than Caucasians. Due to the lack of definitive epidemiological information on lupus, the exact number of people with lupus is unknown. Based on limited existing data, researchers believe at least five million people worldwide have lupus and more than 100,000 new cases develop every year, though it is likely that these estimates are low.
On the LFA Website:
Lupus Groups from Around the World