Reports have revealed that over 3,500 people are diagnosed with leprosy every year in Nigeria with about 25 per cent of sufferers living with disability.
Social Economic Development Programme Officer, Leprosy Mission Sokoto Project, Stephen Okpanachi, who disclosed this while speaking with Daily Trust in Sokoto, said, “Leprosy is still very much with us.” He said the 2013 figure comprises all the states of the federation.
“What we are saying in essence is that leprosy is still very much with us in Nigeria. Everyday, there are new cases coming up,” he said.
He recalled that last year, when they went for investigation in about five local government areas of Sokoto State, they discovered 62 cases. He noted that leprosy has been neglected, “despite the fact that it is still a problem in Nigeria.”
Okpanachi said stigmatisation/discrimination against persons and communities affected by leprosy in Nigeria is also a problem.
“At the Leprosy Mission in Nigeria, ours is to help persons affected by leprosy in terms of the socio-economic aspect and discover new cases. The drugs we give are free and we have multi -drug therapy which is also free,” he said.
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