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Country has only eight doctors specializing in autoimmune diseases

The country has only eight specialist doctors to treat autoimmune diseases. According to Anaday Martins, from the Association for the Support of Rheumatic Patients, “there are few” doctors, which ends up leading patients living with this disease to advise other patients.

: Imagem ilustrativa (Foto: DW/B. Jequete)
Imagem ilustrativa (Foto: DW/B. Jequete)  

Speaking to Rádio Nacional de Angola (RNA), on the occasion of World Lupus Day, marked this Friday, Anaday Martins explained that lupus is a rheumatic disease and that patients need monitoring by rheumatic doctors, but that "unfortunately" the number of specialist doctors for the treatment of this type of disease in the country is very small.

"Lupus is a rheumatic disease, so basically we have to be monitored by rheumatic doctors and unfortunately here in Angola we only have eight, there are few (...)", she said.

Anaday Martins says it is a "difficult" situation and because she already has experience of what it is like to live with this disease, she is able to transmit this knowledge to other patients, especially those who are still at the beginning of this journey.

"I have experienced all the ups and downs during this time of living with the disease, so I can pass it on to other patients, especially those who have it now and don't know how to deal with it," she said, adding: "I also didn't know how to deal with it at first, it's that depression of not knowing, having to take medication, having to endure the pain, it's really complicated".

In turn, Esperança Nicolau, a rheumatology doctor, said that in recent times more cases of lupus have been diagnosed (an inflammatory and autoimmune disease that can affect various tissues and organs, such as skin, joints, etc.).

"Lupus is a disease that we are currently diagnosing more frequently (...)", said the doctor who, quoted by RNA, warned that this disease does not differentiate between ages.

"We are all at risk of having lupus, from a newborn (...) to youth, adulthood and the elderly," she said.

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