Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that is caused by a bacillus (rod-shaped) bacterium known as Mycobacterium leprae that primarily affects the peripheral nerves, skin, upper respiratory tract, eyes, and nasal mucosa, It is also one of the leading permanent physical deformity.
Although, the country had been declared leprosy free in 1998, high prevalence rate of the disease is still experienced, due to the increasingly worrisome number of over 3,000 Nigerians officially presenting with new cases of leprosy yearly. This made it important for the public to know about leprosy, what it does our health and how to overcome the effects
there are millions of families living with leprosy worldwide. Leprosy is completely curable but many people are unable to access treatment, even though the cure is free.
A lot of Nigerians do not know that leprosy is a curable disease and this has resulted in unnecessary stigmatisation of victims. If the public understands the disease better, people affected with leprosy will feel freer to seek treatment at most general hospitals where treatment is free instead of segregating themselves.
We need to know that leprosy is a disease that can be managed and treated but due to the high level of discrimination, most patients are ashamed of coming out for treatment. In the rural areas, most people do not know the symptoms and as such they are most often disabled before they realise they are affected. If it is discovered and treated early most of the effected people will avoid the resultant disability that comes with it.
Leprosy is a bacterial disease which affects the skin and nerves. The first sign of leprosy is usually a patch of discoloured skin. Over 4 million people are living with a disability caused by leprosy worldwide. Leprosy carries a terrible stigma; often people are shunned by communities or even their own family when they show symptoms
WHO developed a multidrug therapy in 1995 to cure all types of leprosy. It’s available free of charge worldwide. Additionally, several antibiotics treat leprosy by killing the bacteria that causes it. These antibiotics may include: Dapsone, rifampin, clofazamine, minocycline and ofloxacin
Your doctor may prescribe more than one antibiotic at the same time. They also may want you to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, prednisone, or orthalidomide. You should never take thalidomide if you are or may become pregnant. It can produce severe birth defects.