DOH marks 'World Leprosy Day' in Cavite school
By Gladys S. Pino
TRECE MARTIREZ CITY, Cavite, Feb. 23 (PNA) -- In a bid to highlight the importance of information and awareness that leprosy can be prevented, treated and cured, the Department of Health (DOH) in cooperation with the Cavite Provincial Health Office, marked “World Leprosy Day” through a series of lectures, briefings and doctor’s advice.
The observance adopted the theme “Achieve Zero Transmission and Disabilities,” at the Congressional National High School, Villa Verde Village in Barangay San Agustin II, Dasmariñas City.
Around 160 participants including students attended and undertook consultations for early detection and those diagnosed with symptoms of the disease were provided with medicines.
DOH resource expert Dr. Feliciano M. Velasco, Jr underscored the importance of early detection to prevent the spread of leprosy and achieve zero transmission.
“Leprosy can be cured in six months to one year time. If it is detected early, suffering and disabilities can be prevented,” Dr. Velasco advised.
The health department’s Regional Coordinator on Leprosy Control and Prevention Program Ma. Cristina Ann N. Buenaagua lectured on Skin Care and described what and how leprosy develops and affects the body organs.
Buenaague said also presented was how the disease is transmitted, its incubation period, treatment and prevention including relevant concerns.
The lecture-health science presentations defined leprosy as a chronic infectious disease caused by the rod-shaped bacillus mycobacterium leprae that mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes.
The Cavite DOH organizers staged the “World Leprosy Day” this week following annual observance and world-wide celebration encouraged by the World Health Organization.
The observance on the last Sunday of January was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau.
A “Poster Making Contest” and “Film Viewing on Leprosy” also highlighted the occasion.
Praise Domingo, Grade 8 student, bagged the 1st place award in the contest with Php 2,000 cash prize and a certificate of recognition while Geoffrey Bulatao and Paolo Azares, both Grade 11 students, bagged the 2nd and 3rd places respectively with their P1,500 and P500 cash prizes and certificates of recognition.
A school teacher, Mary Zugar M. Dequillo, also encouraged her students to stay vigilant and be aware of the conditions and symptoms of the disease.
She urged students to always inform the teachers as their second parents on any health condition they are experiencing and encouraged them “to create a community of healthy learners.” (PNA)