Bwaila Hospital, which is also known as the Lilongwe District Hospital, has recorded 33 cumulative cases of leprosy, with 16 of them being registered between January 2022 to date.
The hospital’s Dermatology and Venereology Officer, Dingase Ngongonda, revealed this to journalists in Lilongwe who are on a media tour organised by the National TB and Leprosy Elimination Program (NTLEP).
Ngongonda said all the cases have been put on treatment to prevent further spread of the disease, which is mostly done through prolonged contact with patients.
“Most of these cases are coming from rural areas where those with disease have lived for a long time without noticing that they have the disease,” she said.
Ngongonda said lack of information among the people on leprosy has helped to further spread the disease because people are not aware of the skin disease.
She adds, “The biggest fear in leprosy is deformities as most of the patients come from rural areas where they rely on farming and other piece works.”
If anything happens to their hands or feet it means that their livelihood will be affected because they cannot be productive anymore, Ngongonda observed.
She urged people with strange skin diseases to seek medical attention as the disease is curable if attended early.
She however said the hospital is currently sourcing funds to train more staff to work in rural health facilities to help in screening and detecting the disease.