Persatuan SLE Malaysia (PSLEM)’s work in raising public awareness of the condition received a much-needed boost when “Wanita Hari Ini”, a popular programme on TV3 about today’s women, gave valuable airtime to a “live” discussion about the condition this morning.
The segment featured Dr. Asmahan Mohamed Ismail, a Rheumatologist at Hospital Selayang, and Ms Sarah Kambali, an SLE patient and member of PSLEM.
Despite being on air “live”, Dr Asmahan and Sarah were very calm and articulate as they shared about the condition, Dr Asmahan from her point- of-view as a physician and Sarah from her personal experience as an SLE patient.
Dr Asmahan gave an overview of the condition, including its causes, symptoms and treatment. In reply to a question about whether a female SLE patient can have children – an issue very close to all women’s hearts – she said the patient should check with her doctor first. The patient’s SLE condition should be stable for at least six months to a year before she tries to conceive. If she is on prednisolone, hydroxychloroquine or azathioprine, these medications must be of a low dosage during her pregnancy.
From the patient’s point-of-view, Sarah recounted what she went through before being diagnosed with the condition, her search for information online and sharing the information with her physician, as well as the benefits of being a member of PSLEM.
Dr Asmahan also answered questions from members of the public who called in during the phone-in section of the programme.
PSLEM’s telephone number and website information appeared on the screen during the latter part of the discussion. This resulted in the PSLEM office continuing to receive telephone calls with questions about SLE long after the programme ended at 1:00 p.m., and throughout the day, too.
PSLEM’s recently revamped website also showed a jump in visitor traffic from 12:30 p.m. onwards when the website’s URL was first shown on the screen.
Our thanks to Dr Asmahan and Sarah for speaking on PSLEM’s behalf in the programme, and also to “Wanita Hari Ini” for giving us valuable air-time to talk about the SLE condition.