The Jakarta Post
The Tangerang Health Agency in Banten claims it is facing difficulty in eradicating leprosy in the regency because affected people shun medical attention, an official has said.
“We have received reports of people having the disease. However, they refuse to meet our officials for medical checks, citing many reasons,” East Sepatan Community Health Center (Puskesmas) official Tati Haryati said in Tangerang on Saturday as quoted by Antara news agency.
She said family members of those with leprosy concealed the information. “We cannot force them because it’s their right to decide whether they get medical assistance or not,” she said.
According to the agency, 398 people in the regency were recorded to have the disease last year.
Tangerang Regent Ahmed Zaki Iskandar said people with leprosy were looked down on even though the disease was not highly contagious and the government was therefore striving to curb the number of people with leprosy in the region, he added.
Leprosy is categorized as mildly contagious. To contract the disease, one has to have a long-term (months to years) contact with an untreated individual with the disease. (fac/evi)
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