Fear has gripped some Malawians following revelations that one of the most dangerous contagious disease – leprosy – has resurfaced in the country.
Authorities say they have, so far, registered 150 cases of leprosy over the past few months.
The National TB and Leprosy Programme Coordinator, Dr. James Mpunga made the revelation during a TB and leprosy stakeholders’ meeting, which took place at Mponela in Dowa on Monday.
“Although Malawi reached an elimination level, but cases in some districts have been identified and it is evidenced that they still exist,” he said.
Malawi achieved elimination threshold for leprosy in 1994.
Following recommendations from the government, Mpunga said, the two programmes have now joined efforts to eliminate leprosy and TB by 2030.
He further said: “Under one roof we will promote effectiveness and efficiency in terms of the use of resources.”
Mchinji Director of Health and Social Services, Dr Juliana Kanyengambeta Mubanga, said the district has reported high number of cases over the past three years.
“The disease is still there and we have identified a high number of them following a sensitization which was made around few areas,” she said.
Mchinji has so far registered 50 cases of leprosy.
Leprosy is a skin disease caused by mycobacterium leprae. The disease is preventable and treatable, but if not attended to, one can lose some parts like fingers.