‘Dear Mr. President’ is a salutation that demands attention. ‘Dear Mr. President’ is often prompted by frustration with the system. The system that might work mostly for a minority while casting the majority in prisons of fears, wants and dissatisfaction. Whether it is the youth appealing for more opportunities to evolve and self actualise, elders who have dedicated their lives in service to this country who do not want the fight to last until the grave or someone in need of medical assistance, the people want the president to hear them. But do their pleas reach his ears? Does the president see the poetry, the letters to the newspapers or the televised news where weary citizens utter ‘Mr. President’?

On April 26th, a letter appeared in the Kaieteur News, where a 37-year-old mother and teacher appealed to the president. Romayne Atkinson, who was diagnosed with lupus nine years ago penned, her struggles in accessing care in Guyana.

Many Guyanese may not be familiar with lupus. The chronic autoimmune disease can cause damage to a person’s organs, skin and joints. Our immune system fights bacteria, viruses and germs by producing antibodies. However, there is an immune system dysfunction for the person who develops lupus, which then results in autoimmunity where the immune system cannot tell the difference between the body’s healthy tissues and invaders. Autoantibodies are therefore created and attack and destroy the person’s healthy tissue…..

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