Benin's fight against leprosy a success: minister

January 29, 2015 12:41 am 

COTONOU, Jan. 28 — A remarkable success has been achieved in the fight against leprosy in Benin, as the prevalence decreased to less than one case per 10,000 inhabitants, the country's health minister told Xinhua Tuesday in an interview.

"Since the generalization of multidrug therapy in the 1980s, the fight has achieved a remarkable success with a drastic reduction of the prevalence rate," said Health Minister Prof. Dorothe Akoko Gazard.

"However, the successes achieved do not allow any relaxation but instead further efforts," the official said.

According to the minister, the detection of new cases remained stable over the past decade without a significant reduction in the incidence of the disease.

In addition, "new cases are still found late as one out of five patients is detected with grade 2 disability, that is, with irreversible mutilation," said the minister.

Two out of three patients are tested positive with multi bacillary form of the disease, which proves the continuing existence in Benin of Hansen bacillus, the causal agent of the disease.

The government of Benin has taken a series of capacity strengthening measures for health agents to offer them better knowledge of the disease and early care, as an accurate strategic means to reverse the epidemic. (PNA/Xinhua)



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