SYMBOLIC LAUNCH… Jenddy (third from left) doing the symbolic launch with others.
KOTA KINABALU: The level of awareness about SLE or LUPUS among the community, especially in this state, is seen to be still at a low level and needs to be increased.
The Minister of Community Development and People’s Well-being (KPMKR), Datuk James Ratib said, it is important to enable early detection to be carried out, in order to prevent this disease from spreading to a critical level.
“I understand that ‘Systemic Lupus Erythematosus’ or better known as SLE is a very complex chronic disease.
“However, this disease is often misinterpreted to the point that it is not detected at the right time.
“I also understand that SLE or LUPUS is a chronic auto-immune disease that is not contagious but has the potential to threaten the lives of its sufferers,” he said.
According to James, health sources obtained show that, for every 100,000 Malaysians, there are estimated to be 43 cases of SLE but there are still many people who are not aware of this disease.
This, he said, also makes it one of the less diagnosed diseases and patients and their caregivers often have to face this disease alone.
He, who is also the Sugut Assemblyman, said this during the Inauguration & Launch of the SLE ‘Walk A Umbrella’ 2023 event held at SICC, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday. The text of his speech was delivered by his Political Secretary, Jenddy Sanggau.
“The program held today is timely towards empowering the community, in increasing knowledge and awareness about diseases, especially SLE disease.
“Apart from the Walk A Payung event, I was also informed that the organizers have prepared various activities on this day including health checks and exhibitions, as well as various activities for children,” he said.
James expressed his appreciation to the organizers, namely the SLE Association of Malaysia Sabah Chapter, for successfully organizing the SLE ‘Walk A Payung’ 2023 program, in conjunction with World SLE Day which is celebrated on May 10 every year.
“Once again, well done and congratulations to the results of the Sabah SLE Association Chapter led by Assoc Prof Dr. Malehah Mohd Noh, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for successfully organizing this very beneficial program.
“At the level of the Ministry of Community Development and People’s Well-Being, as the Sabah State Health Minister and Exco, I am very proud and appreciate, and even fully support such noble efforts.
“I would like to thank all the participants who attended. I hope all participants will take the opportunity today to increase knowledge and understanding about SLE,” he said.