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From left: Everton W. Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Fund (NHF); Dr the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health; Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid, President, Lupus Foundation of Jamaica; Dr Clive Lai, President, Medical Association of Jamaica and Duke Holness, Board Member, NHF at the official event to introduce Lupus to the NHF’s Individual Benefits Programme on World Lupus Day, May 10, 2019.  The function was held at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

The National Health Fund (NHF) recently reaffirmed its commitment to assist patients with lupus through subsidies for medication, at a function to officially mark the addition of lupus to the NHF’s Individual Benefits Programme, on World Lupus Day, May 10, 2019.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the tissues and organs. For patients diagnosed with lupus, the cost to stay alive is high, with some paying as much as $100,000 each month for medication which they need on a continuous basis.

“The NHF has partnered with the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) on an ongoing basis and we are pleased that this partnership is now strengthened by the addition of lupus to the list of conditions covered by the NHF,” said Everton Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, NHF.

As of April 30, 2019, NHF cardholders have been able to access drugs for lupus at a reduced cost through the NHF’s Pharmacy Provider network, of which there are over 415 participating pharmacies across the island.

According to Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid, President of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica, lupus patients across the island breathed a collective sigh of relief as the addition of lupus to the NHF Card programme was the long-awaited answer to the prayers of many persons who are affected by the disease.

“Persons with lupus face many challenges, from the condition, its complications and the challenge with gaining access to the right care and affordable treatment,” she said.

“We (LFJ) would like to express congratulations and our appreciation to the leadership and staff of NHF who have made today possible by their efforts,” Tulloch-Reid continued.

The NHF and LFJ have shared a long-standing partnership as the agency is a key sponsor of an annual lupus symposium, geared at raising awareness and increasing the understanding of the disease among Jamaicans.

Lupus patients, who were in attendance at the function, were in a celebratory mood as, in a symbolic gesture, the agency also handed over NHF cards to several beneficiaries.

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Celia Steele, (right), Sales Manager, Courtleigh Hotel, accepts an NHF Card on her mother’s behalf from Dr the Hon. Christopher Tufton (left), Minister of Health.  The occasion was the official introduction of Lupus to the NHF’s Individual Benefits Programme. Under the NHF Card programme, Celia’s mother, Rona Steele, will be able to purchase medication for Lupus at a subsidized cost.  The presentation took place at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on May 10, 2019, which was also observed as World Lupus Day.

Celia Steele, Sales Manager at the Courtleigh Hotel, who collected a card on behalf of her mother, Roma Steele said she was elated that her mom was the first to enroll and be eligible for the benefits for Lupus from the NHF and expressed thanks to the Fund and the Ministry of Health for easing the financial burden of lupus patients.


Contact: Shermaine Robotham, Health Promotion and Public Relations Manager,
               Health Promotion & Public Relations Department
               Telephone numbers: 906-1106 or 832-8675
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