As Salone Celebrates 63rd Anniversary of World Leprosy Day, Health Minister says, treatment is free of cost
Freetown, Jan. 29, 016 (MOHS) – As Sierra Leone joined the world in celebrating World Leprosy Day, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah has said that leprosy diagnosis and treatment in all diagnostic TB Centres across the country is free of cost. “We are taking a proactive measure to ensure early detection and treatment of leprosy to prevent transmission to children”, opined the Minister.
Addressing the nation in the occasion that marks the 63rd anniversary of the event, the Minister condemns all forms of discrimination and stigmatization against people affected by leprosy at all levels. He said the Ministry is fully aware of the stigma and discrimination associated with leprosy, noting that those affected by the disease are human beings and must be treated with respect as they provide care and support for them to live a dignified life.
He highlighted efforts made by the Ministry and government to eradicate the disease in the country, adding that in 2011 the leprosy incidence was 274, in 2013 reduced to 202, and in 2014 significantly reduced to 145.
Dr. Fofanah in his broadcast speech disclosed that by the end of 2015 the number of leprosy cases registered continues to reduce as seen with 133 cases, pointing out that these figures encouragingly shows improvement in the eradication of leprosy in the country.
He maintained that, the disease still lives with us and stressed the need to scale up efforts towards the final eradication.
The Minister expressed thanks and appreciation to all traditional partners, the World Health Organization (WHO), the German Leprosy Relief Association (GLRA), Catholic Mission, Masanga hospital, among others for their relentless efforts in the fight against leprosy.
By Augusta Koroma (Intern)
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