Leprosy alert

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Honiara tops ‘most settlements with reported cases’, 3 provinces top list across country

 

BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

THREE provinces have reported the most cases of leprosy, and the nation’s capital Honiara sits on top as having the most number of settlements with reported cases.

This was confirmed to Island Sun by Ben Riki, supervising director health promotion department of the Ministry of Health Medical Services (MHMS).

Mr Riki said the three provinces are Guadalcanal, Malaita and Honiara City, and this is according to the country’s national leprosy data.

He said most of these reported cases come from mountainous areas, particularly central Guadalcanal and North-East Guadalcanal.

Riki said Honiara City Council (HCC) is recorded with most settlement reported cases and these affected areas are Kua hill, Mbokonavera, Fishing Village, Lord Howe settlement, Jericho and Matariu.

With that, the other provinces are reported in small portions.

He further adds that the country’s total number of recorded cases from 2014 to 2018 is 231 cases. This is 0.65 -0.75 per 10,000 population.

Riki said with regards to the detection rate it is 5.80 to 6.75 per 100,000 population.

He stressed that the increasing rate of leprosy situation has further reinforced the TB leprosy unit in the MHMS to strategically come up with a five-years plan, 2018 to 2025, to help eliminate the disease.

The plan is to advocate discrimination, stigma and prejudice associated with leprosy and reviewing of the leprosy guideline for the eradication strategy.

Also to conduct an annual endless leprosy campaign and special action project for eradication in hotspot areas across the provinces and having continuous training for medical officers and CBR staffs to help them conduct annual disability assessment among those with disability.

Riki stressed that four other provinces are also with reported leprosy cases; Western, Choiseul, Central and Temotu.

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