A patient suffering from leprosy

INMATES AT the Weija Leprosarium will on Sunday, January 29 join the rest of the world to celebrate World Leprosy Day.

Leprosy is a an infectious disease of the skin, mucous membranes and nerves mainly occurring in tropical regions caused by a bacterium often leading to paralysis, disfigurement and deformity.

A release issued by the Lepers Aid Committee observed that the celebration helps us focus on the needs of the poor who are affected by the disease.

It also helps to tell the story to people who do not know that leprosy still exists and that it can now be cured.

“It helps us raise much awareness of creating a leprosy-friendly environment and the total elimination of discrimination perpetuated against lepers in Ghana,” it noted.

The statement observed that World Leprosy Day which has been observed each year on the last Sunday of January for more than 50 years is to commemorate those who suffer the devastating effects of the disease.

It further noted that although most people regard leprosy as an ancient disease that was eradicated years ago, new cases of leprosy keep emerging each year in Ghana and across the world.

“Sufferers had no choice in the past centuries than to be stigmatized and sent far away from their family houses to live with disabilities that are common in leprosy,” it indicated.

The committee added: “With the advancement of technology and the availability of drugs for treatment, early detected cases of leprosy are treated and cured.”

The committee added that Sunday’s activities will include a sod -cutting ceremony for the construction of an office as well as a visitor’s hall for the leprosarium.

It therefore urged Ghanaians to join hands in the eradication of discrimination against people with disabilities, especially leprosy and do away with all forms of stigmatization against lepers in their community.

 “As we join the world today in celebrating World Leprosy Day and in standing for those who face oppression and stigma every day, let us remember that we are one body, supporting and caring for one another. Let us come together and continue to do something beautiful for God.”

By: Ampem Gyeke-Darko 

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