Stop Discrimination Against People Living With Leprosy – Dr Ekpeyong

Dr Janet Ekpenyong interacts with a leader of the Ugep community.



Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has urged Cross River indigenes to stop the discrimination against people living with leprosy and other infectious diseases.

Dr Ekpenyong stated this at Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State on the occasion of the 2020 world Leprosy Day which was themed “Leprosy, Not What You Think”.

She disclosed that leprosy like every other disease is not a death sentence as it is been perceived by many.

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“Leprosy is like every other disease that is curable, I know that over the years, there have been a lot of myths about the disease, remember the theme, leprosy not what you think, please don’t allow those infected to live in isolation, ensure you support them, which I am sure you will from today because you have come to realise today that Leprosy is curable, early detection can help keep the society healthy”.

She further tasked the royal fathers to ensure their subjects receive fair treatment and urged them if need be to establish legislation that will make it an offense for people living with Leprosy to be discriminated against.

“Our royal fathers, please if there is need to set up a law to make it illegal to discriminate against people living with leprosy, please do ensure to set it up, people should know that it is unfair to abandon people living with Leprosy if you don’t care for them, they can’t get better and we can’t stop the reoccurring cases of leprosy in our beloved state.

“Our Dear Governor Senator Professor Ben Ayade, is putting in so much for the healthcare of our people, through the renovation and equipping of our healthcare centres, let’s complement his effort”.

In reaction to her speech and visit, the paramount ruler of Ugep, Yakurr LGA, appreciated the team for flagging off the campaign in his kingdom, tracing the history to 1920 when the first case was recorded and adding that since then consistent efforts have helped in minimizing its spread state of the disease.

He assured the health team that regular sensitization on the subject of Leprosy, Lassa fever, and some other diseases will be carried out.

Seventeen New Cases Of Leprosy Detected In Bauchi


Seventeen new cases of leprosy, have been detected in a small community in Bauchi state, consisting of not more than 2,000 people, in the month of March alone.

The alarm was raised by an agency in charge of the disease in the state, which also noted that one household alone, recorded about seven of the total number of cases.

Meanwhile, there are concerns over the possibility of eradicating the disease in Nigeria, despite the launch of a five -year National Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Strategic Plan in 2016 by the Federal Government, seeking to eliminate the disease in endemic states.

The new outbreak is coming at a time when some donor agencies have completely withdrawn their support in the fight against the disease in Nigeria.

According to The Leprosy Mission, an effective cure for leprosy has been available since 1982 in the form of multi-drug therapy – a combination of three drugs taken daily between a period of six to 12 months.

However, while treatment halts the progression of the cruel disease, it cannot turn the clock back in terms of disability.