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WHO goodwill ambassador for leprosy meets CM

Hemant emphasises on eradication and public consciousnes

Ranchi, Nov 6: World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Yohi Shashkawa met Chief Minister Hemant Soren at the State Hangar at Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi on Saturday.

He appreciated the Chief Minister for the efforts being made by the State Government towards the control of leprosy. At the same time, the Chief Minister emphasized on eradication of leprosy and developing public consciousness.

Shashkawa urged for initiatives towards housing, employment, pension and education for the people affected by leprosy, so that they can be brought into the mainstream.

World Health Organization (WHO) goodwill ambassador for leprosy elimination Yohei Sasakawa on Saturday reviewed the works being done to eradicate leprosy in Jharkhand, an official said.

Yohei visited the primary health centre in Ranchi’s Pithoria area on Saturday and saw the leprosy elimination works being done here. He also met the workers.

“Leprosy is neither a curse of God nor a spreading disease. It can be cured completely,” Yohei, who has been working for leprosy elimination for the past 40 years, said at a press meet here.

Jharkhand health director-in-chief Dr Krishna Kumar said that the medicine for leprosy is available for free and it is curable.

Kumar said as many as 6,135 leprosy patients are undergoing treatment in Jharkhand. A total of 4,730 new patients were identified till September this year, he said.

Significantly, Sasakawa has dedicated his life for the eradication of leprosy. For the last 40 years, he has been working for the eradication of leprosy across the world. In view of his service spirit, the WHO has declared him as a Goodwill Ambassador. For the last three years, his campaign had slowed down due to the Corona epidemic. When the era of the epidemic was over, Sasakawa reached India.

Sasakawa, 83, said that a female friend of father Ryoichi had leprosy. She lived near his house. Suddenly she disappeared. After much research, it was found that he had been sent to live in solitude due to this disease. This incident shook him. After which Yohei resolved to work for the leprosy patients. He said that leprosy is not a genetic disease. It is a disease caused by bacteria. Leprosy patients should not be discriminated against. The treatment of the disease is possible with Multi Drug Therapy (MDT).

Director Principal Health Services Dr Krishna Kumar said that leprosy is not a curse. On seeing the initial symptoms, go to the health center near you and get tested. This disease is curable. He said that free medicines are given at the government centre. Patients become healthy by taking the medicine. Leprosy patients should not be discriminated against.

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