Minister - Leprosy Is Not Heaven's Punishment
- Written by Oluwafemi Olowookere
The Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole has denounced the speculations in some parts of the country that Leprosy is a heaven’s punishment. The Minister said it is not a heaven’s punishment but a disease that curable.
The Minister made this known over the weekend while briefing the press to mark 2017 World Leprosy Day in Umuahia, Abia State. Last Sunday of every January is set aside as World Leprosy Day in order to create awareness and mobilize support for Leprosy Control and this year’s celebration was the 64th anniversary held on the 29th January, 2017 with a theme ZERO DISABILITY AMONG CHILDREN AFFECTED BY LEPROSY.
The Minister said that the day provided opportunity to focus on an ancient disease that had cause a lot of misery to humans. Adewole said: “There were many mistaken believes about Leprosy disease that it was highly contagious, hereditary, heaven’s punishment and these negatively affected persons with Leprosy even after they have been cured”.
The Minister called on families and general public not to discriminate against of persons affected with Leprosy, adding that persons affected with Leprosy needs care, love and support from families and general public.
Speaking, on the Ministry’s effort to stem Leprosy in Nigeria, the Minister said “We will continue to ensure sustained efforts to integrate leprosy control activities into health care service; institute a renewed focus on preventing disability and promote socio-economic rehabilitation; as well as community development in partnership with people affected with leprosy. We will also continue to collaborate with WHO to ensure free supply of MDT to our patients”
Prof. Adewole said the Ministry of Health had also launched a five-year National Leprosy Strategic Plan (2016-2020 in 2016). The document facilitated the implementation of appropriate strategies to increase case detection, improved treatment outcome, prevent disabilities and provide rehabilitation service to the affected persons.