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Health officials in Barbados recently confirmed a case of leprosy on the island, however, they have assured the public that there is no need to panic.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Arthur Phillips, stated that the case is being treated and that there is only one case currently being treated on the island. The patient is expected to complete their treatment in the next month or two.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the last reported case of leprosy in Barbados was in 2022.
This announcement from the health officials came in response to the recent report from St Lucia, which stated that there were 11 new cases of leprosy on the island, representing an alarming 120% increase from 2020 to 2023. In response to this, health authorities in St Lucia have already drafted a national plan for the elimination of leprosy from the island.
Leprosy is a rare and disfiguring disease that was once a major concern in Barbados 100 years ago, requiring sufferers to be isolated in a purpose-built leper colony. However, with modern medicine and advancements in treatment, cases of leprosy are now very rare.
The health officials in Barbados are working diligently to ensure that the disease does not spread, and the public is being assured that there is no need to panic.