Regional News Wed, 11 Feb 2004

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Ashanti records 85 leprosy cases in 2003

Oyoko (Ash), Feb. 11, GNA - Ashanti recorded 85 leprosy cases last year as against 69 cases in 2002, Mr Edward Brobbey, Ashanti Regional Leprosy Control Officer, announced on Tuesday.

He said the figure showed an increase of 16 cases, adding that it indicated a significant achievement in the sensitisation of the public on the disease.

Mr Brobbey was speaking at the regional celebration of the World Leprosy Day at Oyoko in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma district. It had as its theme: "Leprosy Can Be Cured".

The Regional Leprosy Control Officer said in spite of this achievement, there was the need for the intensification of education on the disease if the nation was to achieve its aim of eradicating the disease completely.

"We believe there are still a considerable number of people who have been infected with leprosy but who do not know. I will therefore urge the public to seek medical attention as early as possible if they detect any signs of the disease".

Mr Brobbey explained that the disease takes between two to 40 years before it manifests itself and said as such, the only way to protect oneself was to seek timely medical attention.

He warned communities and the public against associating the disease with evil spirits, adding that such attitudes were hampering the effectiveness of the campaign against the disease.

Mr Reuben Bedzrah, Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma deputy District Director of Health Services, called on Ghanaians to continue to use the multi-drug therapy introduced in 1982 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight the disease.

Source: GNA

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