Brazil’s Federal Senate dome was illuminated purple on Monday in support of Lupus Awareness Month. According to Agência Senado, the initiative was spearheaded by Sen. Lídice da Mata (PSB-BA), who highlighted the need for awareness of the high costs and barriers to access faced by patients living with systemic lupus erythematosus, the severe autoimmune disease commonly referred to as lupus.
Lupus is the subject of several pending Senate bills. Here are some of them:
- PLS 603/2011, introduced by Sen. Vicentinho Alves (PR-TO), would institute a National Policy for Protection of the Rights of Lupus Patients. The bill was already approved by the Senate and sent to the Chamber of Deputies.
- PLS 322/2015, introduced by Sen. Romário (PSB-RJ), would establish a national policy on lupus guidance and awareness, in addition to granting a tax break and other government benefits to lupus patients. Currently under consideration in the Senate’s Social Issues Commission.
- PLS 293/2009, introduced by Sen. Paulo Paim (PT-RS), would expedite access to healthcare and retirement benefits for people with lupus as well as epilepsy. Already approved by the Senate and under consideration in the Chamber of Deputies.
The Brazilian Society of Rheumatology estimates 1 out of every 1,700 women in the country are living with lupus. Several events in observance of World Lupus Day, May 10, are scheduled across the country.
Senate photo by Valter Campanato/ABr