Help integrate healed lepers into society — Second Lady

The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, has called on Ghanaians in general and families of lepers in particular to accept and integrate cured lepers into their midst because the disease is curable.

She said such integration would complement and add value to work going on at the leprosarium where efforts were being made to cure lepers.

Mrs Matilda Amissah Arthur made the call last Sunday at the Weija Leprosarium where she joined the Lepers Aid Committee chaired by Very Rev. Fr Andrew Campbell to mark World Leprosy Day with the inmates. Rev. Fr Andrew Campbell has been championing the cause of lepers in Ghana over the years.

The day is observed internationally on the last Sunday of every January to increase public awareness of the disease.

Mrs Amissah-Arthur said leprosy was not contagious and that it was curable, hence the need to accept and integrate the treated patients into the society.

According to her, society’s continued rejection for the healed lepers had far reaching consequences on what was going on at the leprosarium.

She advised families of such people to at least visit the lepers to give them hope.

 “Let us end the stigmatisation the lepers go through,” she advised.

  She also took the opportunity to interact with some of them, shook hands with them and encouraged them. She presented some bags of rice, plastic buckets, bowls and some amount of money to help one of them who would be undergoing surgery at the Korle Bu hospital soon.

For his part, Rev. Fr. Campbell said most people neglected lepers because they saw them as outcasts and urged all to show love and compassion to them since they are human beings and deserved to be treated as such.

He bemoaned the stigmatisation and discrimination against cured lepers in Ghana and called on the citizenry to respect the rights of lepers.

He urged all corporate bodies to extend their love to the lepers in kind.

Rev. Fr Campbell said the Lepers Aid Committee had constructed a multi-skill training centre for the Ho Leprosarium.

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