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Holy See mobilizes with other international organizations in the fight against leprosy

2016-06-08


The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers is teaming up with organizations from all over the world in the fight for a holistic care of people suffering from leprosy. 

Dr. Roch Christian Johnson has presented his medical findings at the meeting in the Vatican. He is a medical adviser for the Raoul Follereau Foundation, a private charitable organization that focuses on in-depth action to cure, educate, train and rehabilitate people suffering from Hansen's disease. 

DR. ROCH CHRISTIAN JOHNSON
Raoul Follereau Foundation
"The number of children under 15 years reported each year by the World Heath Organization show us that the transmission of the disease still continues. The Raoul Follereau Foundation support the fight against Hansen's disease in 12 Francophone African countries.”

Although it is regarded as an ancient disease, Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy still remains a current world health issue, with more than 200,000 new cases reported each year. 

DR. ROCH CHRISTIAN JOHNSON
Raoul Follereau Foundation
"To conduct skin consultations is very important... why? Because if you enter communities saying that you come to look at leprosy patients it is a sort of stigmatization. But, if you enter the community to screen general skins conditions. Then you will be able to detect and treat early leprosy patients but in addition to also provide other care to the population.”

During the press conference, Dr. Johnson said that the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy is completely curable and easy. However, most underdevelopment and marginalized parts of the world are striving to fully integrate leprosy services into existing general health services. In fact, some pockets within the Central African Republic, Brazil, India, Madagascar and Nepal still see a high occurrence of leprosy among its people. The geographical remoteness of populations in relation to health centers plays a key role in the late detection of the patients.

This special International Symposium is taking place at the Vatican on June 9-10th.


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