Health News Southern

High Leprosy Rate in Kalo Village, Rigo District

Kalo Village in the Rigo district of Central Province has a high number of Leprosy cases that have been detected.

While 26 cases were recorded last year, 15 new cases were detected only thhe last fortnight.

A week ago, the villagers of Kalo, together with the World Health Organization in partnership with National Health Department and the PNG Leprosy Mission, witnessed ‘World Leprosy Day’ by discussing preventive measures for Leprosy at the village.

In 2000, through the National Leprosy Elimination Program, Leprosy was declared to be no longer a public Health Issue in PNG. This was from the time when the disease was first identified in-country, in the 1980’s.

However, 16 years after the elimination, 6 provinces in the country have made slow progress in eliminating leprosy as a public health problem.

Central Province being one of them, with Kalo village recording a high number of leprosy cases.

The village was chosen as the venue to witness World Leprosy Day last week Sunday, but due to the heavy rains, the program was deferred to yesterday.

Officers from the Health Department, the World Health Organization and the Leprosy Mission traveled to the village to commemorate the Word event, and at the same time, raise awareness on detecting and preventing Leprosy.

Dr. Lungten from the World Health Organisation stressed to the villages that the disease is curable, and that treatment must be completed. And one of the factors that contribute to the disease is overcrowding.

The main message was to prevent children from developing disabilities associated with leprosy, while villagers were encouraged to take their children to the clinic as soon as they recognise leprosy symptoms of skin patches.

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Thomas Huliambari

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