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Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has urged Cross River indigenes to stop the discrimination against people living with leprosy and other infectious diseases.
Dr Ekpenyong stated this at Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State on the occasion of the 2020 world Leprosy Day which was themed “Leprosy, Not What You Think”.
She disclosed that leprosy like every other disease is not a death sentence as it is been perceived by many.
“Leprosy is like every other disease that is curable, I know that over the years, there have been a lot of myths about the disease, remember the theme, leprosy not what you think, please don’t allow those infected to live in isolation, ensure you support them, which I am sure you will from today because you have come to realise today that Leprosy is curable, early detection can help keep the society healthy”.
She further tasked the royal fathers to ensure their subjects receive fair treatment and urged them if need be to establish legislation that will make it an offense for people living with Leprosy to be discriminated against.
“Our royal fathers, please if there is need to set up a law to make it illegal to discriminate against people living with leprosy, please do ensure to set it up, people should know that it is unfair to abandon people living with Leprosy if you don’t care for them, they can’t get better and we can’t stop the reoccurring cases of leprosy in our beloved state.
“Our Dear Governor Senator Professor Ben Ayade, is putting in so much for the healthcare of our people, through the renovation and equipping of our healthcare centres, let’s complement his effort”.
In reaction to her speech and visit, the paramount ruler of Ugep, Yakurr LGA, appreciated the team for flagging off the campaign in his kingdom, tracing the history to 1920 when the first case was recorded and adding that since then consistent efforts have helped in minimizing its spread state of the disease.
He assured the health team that regular sensitization on the subject of Leprosy, Lassa fever, and some other diseases will be carried out.