Bauchi state was said to have achieved the global leprosy elimination target of one case per 10,000 people.
This was disclosed by the Executive chairman of the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV / AIDS Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria ( BACATMA) ,Dr Mansur Dada at a press conference to mark the World Leprosy Day.
He informed that, the state recorded 206 new leprosy cases which indicates that it has a 0.3 percent prevalence rate in every 10,000 people.
He however stated that the increase in new cases among children is posing a new challenges.
"The 2017 state statistics showed the number of children among these new cases was 32 (15.5%) indicating leprosy transmission still ongoing in the communities and number of cases diagnosed with visible disability (G2 Disability) was 22 (11%), indicating adults with leprosy presenting late for treatment. This ugly trend is seen similarly globally and national levels,"he said.
Dr Dada disclosed that there are many challenges being faced by the agency in its fight against the disease.
According to him, the main challenges include; dwindling financial support especially withdrawal of funds by international donors and ow community awareness.
Other challenges are; Low leprosy cases notification, high percentage of children with leprosy among new cases and high percentage of persons with disability among new cases detected.
He however noted that the agency had recorded success in the fight against the disease from 2015 to 2017 through intensification of leprosy case finding, renovation and equipping of leprosy unit at Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) Bayara, provision of drugs and other medical consumables and intense Anti-Leprosy campaigns.
He said that the agency had planned to undertake many programmes in 2018 towards tackling the spread of the disease in the state.
According to him, the planned activities include; strengthening active leprosy search and mini leprosy elimination campaigns, supporting local government TBL supervisors with logistics vehicles and awareness campaigns through the media.
Other activities to be carried out by the agency will also include renovation of Bayara IDH Theatre to be conducting surgeries on leprosy patients with complications and provide the necessary drugs and other medical consumables.
The BACATMA chairman commended governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar for his commitment in the fight against leprosy.
He also commended the federal and Bauchi state ministries of health as well as international and local donor partners for their support.
The 2018 World Leprosy Day was themed: ‘Zero Disabilities In Boys and Girls’.