LFJ President, Dr. Desiree Tulloch-Reid
Connectivity has been an important enabler for the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) in its mission to educate and advocate for those affected by the disease. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system becomes dysfunctional and attacks the body, affecting approximately 6,000 Jamaicans. Known as the disease with many faces, lupus can cause hair loss, seizures, paralysis, blindness, among other conditions, as well as death.
The Flow Foundation has provided telephone and internet services to support its advocacy work since 2014. With the help of broadband access, LFJ has become more accessible to Jamaicans residing outside the corporate area and is making a greater educational impact by Expand your services online. learning resources
LFJ President Dr. Desiree Tulloch-Reid said the Internet has been an indispensable tool for the Foundation’s work.
“Communication is very important to us, and the phone and internet services provided through the Flow Foundation have transformed the way we communicate with our community,” said Dr. Tulloch-Reid.
“For example, we receive up to 400 calls a year through our Help Center; and having to return calls too. We use customer management software that allows our members to view their details and access services such as downloading their membership card. During the pandemic, when access to our library was limited and we were unable to host in-person support group meetings, we were still able to give people the opportunity to interact with us and access critical resource information. Also, many more people regularly come to our learning center, but now we can share this information on social media and through our monthly Q&A sessions that we also stream live.”
Dr. Tulloch-Reid and her team have been actively engaging the public since October is recognized as Lupus Awareness Month. On Sunday October 23 at the University of the West Indies, the Foundation organized its annual symposium aimed at empowering patients and their families, health workers and the general public with an understanding of the disease and its impact.
According to Dr. Tulloch-Reid, Afro-Caribbean countries, such as Jamaica, have the highest rates of lupus in the world. The global average age of diagnosis is 22 years and women are affected nine times more often than men.
“Lupus, unlike most chronic diseases, is considered a disease of the young,” said Dr. Tulloch-Reid.
“People are being attacked by this disease at the peak of their productive lives. Late diagnosis is also one of the issues that can affect your prognosis, which is why lupus awareness is a big part of what we do.”
Earlier this year, the Flow Foundation improved the Lupus Foundation’s internet speeds with its fast fiber technology, giving the advocacy group more capabilities to connect and inform its members and the general public. In addition to the invaluable use of the Internet, Dr. Tulloch-Reid said the savings made each year are a welcome benefit.
“The Lupus Foundation relies on donations, so it makes a big difference when we don’t have to think about these (internet and phone) bills every month,” she noted.
LeVaughn Flynn, Flow Public Relations Manager, added: “As part of our commitment to nation building and driving greater digital inclusion, our Flow Foundation is proud to support numerous worthy NGOs, schools, communities and causes. that positively impact Jamaicans and contribute to creating a better Jamaica. for all. We are delighted to see all the great work being done by the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica and that our technology is instrumental in achieving their goal of educating and supporting people affected by the disease.”
The LFJ is a member-sponsored, volunteer-run organization founded in 1984. For more information about Lupus and how you can support the LFJ, visit: https://lupusfoundationofjamaica.wildapricot.org/.