KARACHI: Leprosy elimination is successfully being achieved in Pakistan; however, elimination does not mean that disease has been eradicated from the country as there are still many challenges in terms of physical and social rehabilitation, which will go on even in the post-elimination phase.
These views were expressed by speakers while addressing the annual function marking the World Leprosy Day, which was organized by Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) at Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi.
Consul General of Germany Dr Tilo Klinner, Founder Member of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC), Dr Ruth Pfau, members of MALC including Mervyn Lobu, Dr Mutahir Zia, Dr Ali Murtaza and Nisar Ahmed Malik attended the event.
Klinner said achievement of gradual elimination of leprosy was because of the concerted efforts made by a team of committed workers. He said leprosy elimination does not mean that disease has been eradicated from the country.
Dr Ruth Pfau appealed to the people to do away with stigma attached to disease. She said there was dire need to create public awareness to minimize the burden of this disease.
She further said that World Leprosy Day not only symbolizes our feelings of togetherness and love without patients affected by leprosy but also provides an opportunity to all of us working for leprosy to come closer and renew our commitment for a leprosy free world.
She said in 1996, leprosy was controlled in Pakistan, while prevalence of the disease reduced to the extent that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease to be under control in Pakistan, one of the first countries in EMRO Region to achieve this goal.
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