The development is a setback in the effort to eradicate the disease.
The Bauchi State Commissioner for Health, Sani Malami, has expressed concern over the transmission of leprosy among children in the state.
Mr. Malami said at the inauguration of the new leprosy wing of the Infectious Disease Hospital, Bayara, in Bauchi State, on Friday that the development was a setback in the effort to eradicate the disease.
“Though we have witnessed a dramatic reduction of cases in Bauchi State in recent years, we are not unaware that a lot remains to be done as these successes could very well be reversed. We are concerned that transmission is still going on among children, who accounted for seven per cent of all new cases in 2012,” he revealed.
Mr. Malami said that another disturbing development was that patients with visible disability reported late for treatment. He said the setback notwithstanding, the prevalence of leprosy in the state in 2012 dropped to 0.26 per cent of 10,000 persons, which was the World Health Organisation, WHO’s elimination target.
In his remark, Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, expressed delight that the WHO target on the eradication of leprosy had been met.
“On our assumption of office in 2007, there were close to 1,00 leprosy patients on admission here. As at today, only nine patients are on admission,” he said.
The governor promised to continue rehabilitating cured leprosy patients after their discharge from hospital. The new leprosy wing of the hospital is a 45-bed capacity facility with male and female wards.