Management of St John’s Hospital is leading an awareness campaign of Leprosy infection in the country as the world marks Leprosy Day.
A statement signed by the Residence Doctor of the medical facility, Dr. Richard Bonsra Fynn, urged Ghanaians to give love to persons infected with Leprosy.
WORLD LEPROSY DAY (30th January 2022)
As we celebrate the World Leprosy Day today, The St. John’s Hospital and the entire management would like to create awareness of this disease.
World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January each year. It was established in 1954 by French philanthropist Raoul Follereau, it aims to raise awareness about leprosy (now called Hansen’s disease) and teach people about this ancient disease that is easily curable today.
Leprosy is an infection caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). With early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be cured. People with Hansen’s disease can continue to work and lead an active life during and after treatment.
Leprosy was once feared as a highly contagious and devastating disease, but now we know it doesn’t spread easily and treatment is very effective. However, if left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.
Hansen’s disease(Leprosy) mainly affects people in resource-limited or developing countries, especially those who live in crowded conditions. Many have difficulty accessing health care due to long distances to reach providers and clinics familiar with Hansen’s disease. Because of this, many of those affected don’t complete treatment or don’t receive it at all, even though the WHO has a program that provides free treatment. Due to the continued stigma against people with Hansen’s disease, they may not seek help when the first symptoms appear, causing a delay in diagnosis and development of disabilities.
The good news is that Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) is curable with antibiotics. Education and improving access to basic health services for all are keys to the successful elimination of stigma and disability associated with this illness.
Dr. Richard Bonsra Fynn
St. John’s Hospital & Fertility Center
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