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St. Lucia Fights Leprosy

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By John Emmanuel

September 1, 1998 - For the next two months, health officials on the island will re-direct their attention to the elimination of leprosy. The September to October campaign will pick up where activities left off in January 98, observed here as Leprosy awareness month.

According to the latest Ministry of Health report, St. Lucia is on the brink of totally eliminating the aged old dreadful debilitating communicable disease- Leprosy. However word from consultant dermatologist Dr. Marie Granderson-Dedier, is that the island is still reporting more than one case of leprosy per ten thousand of the population. In her professional opinion, not good enough. "We still have hidden cases out in the community that have not yet been detected," Dr. Dedier revealed in an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service on Monday.

Over the next two months the Ministry of Health via the Government Information Service, will rebroadcast one of its educational films on Leprosy, as a mean to re-acquaint the public with the disease. A series of lectures and talks to various health care workers is to follow.

So far this year five new cases of leprosy have been diagnosed, with the first two persons presenting themselves to health officials based on self-diagnosis following the January campaign. A six case of suspected leprosy is pending confirmation.

Early warning signs are areas on the skin which lose sensation and change in color, most of the time going lighter in color than the pervious color of the skin.

 

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