Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Friday, 2 June 2023 - 10:03am

The Ministry of Health and Social Development will be hosting a seminar on Lupus to strengthen the capacity to identify, diagnose, treat and care for persons with the disease.

The Training on Lupus and other autoimmune diseases will be facilitated by Consultant Rheumatologist, Dr. Stacy Davis MBBS from Jamaica via the WebEx platform on June 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Ms. Jacinth Hannibal said that the seminar is geared towards doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers but the public is also invited to join and two continuing education credits are available. “Diagnostic criteria, disease staging and dealing with lupus in pregnancy will be covered as well as guidelines of treatment and care,” Nurse Hannibal said.

“Given that we do not have a Rheumatologist locally, the seminar presents an opportunity for clinicians to update their knowledge and skills particularly around Lupus in order to better care for that population,” the CNO further added.

Interested persons are required to register online via the link:

Persons can also contact the Ministry of Health at 468-2272/2282.

Lupus is a disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs (autoimmune disease).  Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

While lupus can strike anyone at any time, 90% of people living with lupus are females between the ages of 15 and 44. Women and persons of colour are disproportionately affected.  Common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches and hair loss
  • Mouth or nose ulcers
  • Butterfly shaped rashes across cheeks and nose
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Sunlight sensitivity
  • Swelling in feet, legs, hand and around the eyes
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Fever and extreme fatigue

Common lupus triggers include sunlight, stress, viruses, illnesses, pregnancy and childbirth.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286