In 1988, a treatment for leprosy was introduced.
The Co-ordinator of the Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Centre in Kano State, Tijani Hussain, said on Wednesday that over 400 fresh leprosy cases were registered in the state annually.
This is however a ‘significant’ improvement as Mr. Hussain said, in an interview in Kano, that before 1988, the state registered at least 24 thousand cases annually.
He said since 1988 when a treatment regimen called Multi-Drug Therapy, MDT, was introduced, the number of cases reduced drastically.
“Now, we register over 400 fresh leprosy cases,” he said.
The coordinator said that in 2011, 350 new leprosy cases were registered in the state.
He said that there were currently 46 clinics from which patients could access free treatment, including free medicines.
He said “people only regard those victims in the street begging as leprosy cases.”
“But for us as clinicians, leprosy is anybody who has a skin patch that is lighter than the surrounding area and when such area is touched, such person doesn`t feel it.
“Most people you see on the street are not leprosy cases; they can`t transmit the disease but it is the people you don`t see that transmit the disease,” hen said.
The coordinator advised those who noticed patches that were insensitive to touch on their skins to report to the hospital for checks to get early treatment.
He said it is only through early diagnosis and treatment that all forms of disabilities manifesting in leprosy can be controlled to avoid its spread.