By G9ija

Twenty leprosy cases have been recorded in Kogi State.

The Kogi State Programme Officer, Leprosy Mission  Nigeria (LMN), Mrs. Hannah Fashona, said the new cases were recorded between January and November.

Briefing reporters in Lokoja on Monday at the COVID-19 response palliatives distribution for communities of persons affected by leprosy and disabilities in the state, Fashona, who said the organisation was determined towards ensuring that Nigeria was free from the disease, added that the state referral centre located at Ochadamu in Kogi East had successfully treated patients affected by the disease.

She said it was on record that due to fear and lack of knowledge, over three million people across the globe were living with undiagnosed leprosy and everyday the disease caused more damage to their health, livelihood and future.

The programme officer said more than 600 people are daily diagnosed with leprosy around the world, adding that over 50 of them are children.

She said the Leprosy Mission is embarking on a research to achieve zero leprosy in the world.

Fashona faulted a claim by the Federal Government that Nigeria had attained zero elimination campaign of leprosy.

“The issue in Nigeria is not 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 these patients don’t come when it is early, they come when it is either grade one or grade two disabilities. They must have consulted herbalists before somebody will refer them to our referrer centre at Ochadamu, for them to get solution.

“The Federal Government has to come in to achieve that zero elimination campaign. It should not be by lip service,” she said.

Fashona said the LMN would continue to support the people through raising awareness, prevention, treatment and follow-up, so that they could live normal lives among their peers.

She said the palliatives would be distributed to the people living with disabilities.

“Over 80 households across the three senatorial districts will benefit from these palliatives. It will reduce hunger,” she said.