Leprosy Declining in Ethiopia, Awareness Creation Needed: Ass’n of Persons Affected by Leprosy

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Addis  Ababa, January 23/2020 (ENA) The number of persons infected with leprosy has declined from about 30,000 to 3,700 per year during the last two decades, according to Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy. 

Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy Manager, Tesfaye Tadesse told journalists today that though the decline is encouraging, enhanced awareness about the disease and its treatment is crucial in order  to eliminate the disease.

Condemning the stigmatization of victims of leprosy, the manager called on all to encourage victims to actively participate in the political, economic and social affairs of the country.

State Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Getahun Abdisa on his part said the prevalence of leprosy in the country has met the 1 case per 10,000 goal of World Health Organization.

Yet there is stigmatization of victims due to low level of awareness, he said, adding that nationwide efforts are need to develop awareness on leprosy.

The detection rate for new cases has shown decline in the country after the introduction of Multiple Drug Therapy (MDT) in 1982, it was learned.

Ethiopia will celebrate World Leprosy Day on January 26, 2020 in Addis Ababa this year for the 21st time under the theme: “Leprosy Free World with Knowledge and Love.”