Leprosy Mailing List – February 1, 2019
Ref.: (LML) World Leprosy Day 2019 Celebration in Ghana
From: Benedict Quao, Cape-Coast, Ghana
I will be grateful if the following piece is considered for posting on the leprosy mailing list"
To mark the World Leprosy Day celebration in Ghana, a service was organized at the Ankaful Leprosy General Hospital in Cape Coast, which serves as the National Referral Hospital for complications in leprosy, and greatly supported by the resident ILEP representative in Ghana, Father George Abram.
In attendance were the representative of the Regional Director of Health Services (Central Region), other stakeholder representatives, representatives of persons affected by leprosy, currently admitted patients and persons living with disabilities due to leprosy living in surrounding community and from the St Clare's Home at Ahotokrom.
The media (TV, Radio and print) were also on hand to cover the event, which was aimed at creating awareness on the disease and the plight of many persons living with disabilities due to leprosy facing discrimination, stigma and prejudice in the country. We also greatly utilized social media (through various WhatsApp platforms) to advertise the World Leprosy Day 2019 in the preceding week. In various regions too, disease control officers engaged local radio stations in discussions to educate the populace on the early signs of the disease and encourage an end to discrimination, stigma and prejudice.
There has been a tremendous response especially following the carriage of the message by the National Daily, the Daily Graphic (online version: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/ghananews-leprosy-not-curse-stop-spurning-sufferers-public-urged.html). At the just ended Annual review meeting one of the wonderful stories shared was that of the report on the sides of the conference that an individual on the register who had defaulted (and failed retrieval despite many attempts), on hearing the radio message surrounding the WMD 2019, had presented to a health facility and was ready to resume treatment.
We want to share these experiences to encourage all involved in leprosy elimination activities on the need to continue to use the World Leprosy Day as a strong advocacy tool for the maintenance of awareness of the disease even when the case load has declined dramatically. Also, to point out the powerful partner we have in the media as a tool for advocacy and public awareness. We share with all a banner we created for the day that we utilized on various social media platforms.
LML - S Deepak, B Naafs, S Noto and P Schreuder
LML blog link: http://leprosymailinglist.blogspot.it/
Contact: Dr Pieter Schreuder << firstname.lastname@example.org