ucanews.com reporters, Chittagong and Dinajpur
Updated: January 30, 2012 08:24 AM GMT
About 500 people attended a rally and discussion meeting yesterday at Khagrachhari in the southeastern Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to mark World Leprosy Day. The event was organized by Chittagong Leprosy Control Mission, part of The Leprosy Mission International (TLMI), an NGO working to increase awareness about diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The World Health Organization declared the country leprosy-free 13 years ago, but the disease is returning to remote and poor areas as well as the capital Dhaka. District deputy commissioner Anisul Haque said CHT was “among the most risky places for leprosy, because the tribal people are very [unaware] about leprosy as well as other diseases.” They remain superstitious about leprosy, or Hansen ’s disease (HD), he said, and consider the disease as the fruit of sin. “I request you people not to hide the disease and come [soonest] to the leprosy centers for treatment,” urged Haque. Sanay Tripura, 42, a Tripura Catholic and local TLMI medical officer, said there are about 4,500 leprosy patients in the country today. He said CHT is among the most risky places for the disease, with the chances of catching it around one in 10,000. In northwestern Dinajpur district some 100 former leprosy patients gathered to observe the day belatedly today. According to TLMI, 3,800 fresh HD cases were found last year with 732 being Dhaka city dwellers. A report says many people hide the disease to escape social stigma. Related Reports: Patients with leprosy get a second chanceCHURCH-RUN PROJECT FIGHTS LEPROSY, TUBERCULOSIS
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.