Press Release
January 11, 2019

Binay wants to institute a national health program to combat Lupus

A bill has been filed in the Senate promoting public awareness and instituting early detection and prevention of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or "Lupus" disease.

"There is no cure for SLE, however, medical interventions and lifestyle changes can help control it," Sen. Nancy Binay, author of Senate Bill No. 2070 entitled "Comprehensive Lupus Prevention Act of 2018," said.

SLE or "Lupus" is defined as a chronic auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage in different parts of the body but most often affecting the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and nervous system.

"It triggers inflammation in the different tissues of the body particularly when the immune system attacks its own tissue," said Binay.

Besides public awareness, the proposed measure seeks to strengthen research and development in order to support and manage treatment of this disease.

"In addition, the increased awareness will encourage understanding, early detection and intervention which are critical in alleviating symptoms," Binay said.

This will also help empower those suffering from SLE to be independent, self-reliant and productive members of society, the senator said.

The senator's proposed measure mandates the institutionalization of a national health program in which the Department of Health (DOH) will be at the forefront in carrying out a campaign on lupus prevention and treatment.

It also includes a provision to have the fees on early detection and screening programs for lupus covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC) or Philhealth.

"In order to grow national interest and participation in the issues and concerns of lupus patients, the first week of May shall annually be celebrated as 'Lupus Awareness Week.' This week-long activity will be spearheaded by the DOH, in coordination with other concerned agencies, institutions and stakeholders," the senator said.

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