Kogi State has recorded 20 fresh leprosy cases.
This was revealed by an official of the Leprosy Mission Nigeria, Kogi State chapter, Hannah Fashona.
According to her, the cases were discovered between January and November 2020.
Fashona spoke during the COVID-19 response palliatives distribution for communities of persons affected by leprosy and disabilities in Kogi State.
She also faulted the claim by the Federal Government that the country had zero elimination campaign of leprosy, saying cases were discovered always.
She said, “The issue in Nigeria is not only limited to leprosy alone. The Federal Ministry of Health recently said they had 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 gone round the whole herbalists before somebody would refer them to our centre in 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.”
Fashona, who noted that the organisation was determined to ensure that Nigeria is free from the disease, added that the state referrer center located in Ochadamu, Eastern flank of Kogi State, had succeeded in treating some patients affected by the disease.
According to her, it is on record that due to fear and lack of knowledge, over three million people across the world are living with undiagnosed leprosy, and every day, the disease causes more damage to their health, livelihood and future.
The LMN program officer added that more than 600 people were diagnosed with leprosy in the world, daily, adding that over 50 of these were children.
She explained further that the Leprosy Mission was embarking on daily research to achieve zero leprosy in the world.
Receiving the palliatives on behalf of the Kogi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Fatima Buba, thanked the donors for the kind gesture, just as she tasked the beneficiaries to always remember them in prayers.
Buba, represented by a Director in the ministry, Adegbola Elizabeth Fumilayo, however, warned the beneficiaries not to sell the items as they were meant for household consumption.