Terming leprosy as a national problem, speakers at a programme stressed on public-private initiatives to eradicate the disease and establish the rights of the leprosy victims and their family members.
They made the remarks while addressing a discussion at New Bhavan of DGHS at Mohakhali in the capital, marking the World Leprosy Day Sutday (Jan 31).
National Leprosy Elimination Programme (NLEP) of the government in association with leprosy related NGOs organized the event.
Prof. Dr. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), attended it as the chief guest.
Underlining the importance on raising awareness, Khurshid Alam said massive awareness can bring a better result on eradication of the preventable disease.
Listing various measures taken up for treatment and rehabilitation of the affected people, he told that the government has taken initiative to rehabilitate those crippled by leprosy.
Dr. David Pahan, Country Director of Lepra Bangladesh, said leprosy is a disease of consequences causing physical, mental, social, and economical impacts. Hence, it needs combined efforts from all sectors to bring comfort to persons affected by leprosy.
Prof. Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director (Planning and Development) of DGHS, said though
the Prime Minister has attached importance to the leprosy issue, we are not getting expected result mainly due to lack of adequate manpower, scarcity of information, hindrance to finding new cases and poor economic and social conditions of patients.
She stressed on united efforts by public and private partnership for freeing the country from leprosy by 2030.
She also called on all concerned to work together for formulating a long term plan on leprosy and its proper implementation.
Lauding the public-private partnership, she said the successes achieved so far in the anti-leprosy programme are due to combined efforts of the partnership.
Jiptha Boiragee, programme support coordinator of The Leprosy Mission International-Bangladesh (TLMI-B), drew the attention of authorities concerned so the leprosy-affected people can get facilities in the housing project, launched by the government.
Prof. Dr. Md. Shamiul Islam, director and line director (TBL and ASP) of DGHS; Dr. Md. Enamul Haque, deputy director and programme manager (leprosy); Dr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, programme manager (leprosy); among others spoke.