From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Kogi State Programme Officer, Leprosy Mission Nigeria, (LMN), Mrs. Hannah Fashona, on Monday in Lokoja said no fewer than 20 new cases of leprosy have been recorded between January and November this year in the state.
She made the disclosure while briefing journalist in Lokoja on the Covid-19 response palliatives distribution for persons affected by leprosy and disabilities in Kogi State.
Fashona who noted that the organization is determined towards ensuring that Nigeria is free from the disease added that the state referrar center located in Ochadamu, Eastern flank of Kogi State had succeeded in treating some patients affected with the disease.
The LMN Program Officer added that more than 600 people were diagnosed of leprosy globally daily, adding that over 50 of these are children.
Fashona who faulted the claim of the Federal Government that Nigeria have attain zero elimination campaign of leprosy in the country
explained that Leprosy Mission is embarking on daily research to achieve zero leprosy in the world.
“The issue in Nigeria is not only limited to leprosy alone. The Federal Ministry of Health recently said they have recorded zero elimination campaign of leprosy, whereas, day in day out, we record new cases of which children are largely involved.”
“Some of this patients don’t come when it is early, they come when it is either grade one or grade two disabilities. They must have gone round the whole herbalist before somebody will refer them to our referrer centre in Ochadamu for solution. The Federal Government has to come in to achieve that zero elimination campaign”.
On why Leprosy Mission Nigeria in collaboration with TBF Thompson Foundation were distributing palliatives to persons affected with leprosy and disabilities, Fashona maintained that Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many lives in the world including the rich, poor and the less privileged.
Receiving the palliatives on behalf of the Kogi State Ministry of Women Affair and Social Development, the State Commissioner for Women Affair, Hajia Fatima Buba who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs. Adegbola Elizabeth Fumilayo thanked the donors for their kind gesture.
In his goodwill messages, the chairman, Kogi NGO network Mr Idris Muraina lauded TLM Nigeria for their continuous intervention at ameliorating the sufferings of the less privileged in the state, stressing that Civil Societies will continue to partner with them to achieve zero leprosy in Nigeria.
Items distributed includes food stuffs ranging from rice, beans, garri, noodles, oil, seasoning, sugar, salt and personal hygiene materials.