—- FG commends leprosy agency for attaining Golden Jubilee

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ENUGU – The has commended the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (GLRA) for its 50 years striving to eliminate TB and leprosy in the country.

Speaking at the association’ Golden Jubilee celebration in Enugu, the Minister Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said in the last 50 years, the organisation had provided support to TB and leprosy patients  in the country.

He said the support had led to the strides in the () goal eliminating TB.

“It is necessary for me to work with an important organisation like GLRA. In the last 50 years, this organisation had provided support to TB and leprosy centres and patients.

“It was one of the very first in 1993 to assist the TB and Leprosy Control Program in the implementation of DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short course) based TB control with logistic and technical support and I am quite impressed with the commitment of GLRA to the eradication of leprosy, TB and Brulli ulcer.

“In order to meet the TB challenges in , we at the Federal Ministry of Health have started strategising to ensure the disease is given a serious attention as other diseases,” he said.

Chukwu said 15 had benefited from GLRA services and commended for their unique service to humanity.

Also speaking, The Enugu State Governor, Mr Sullivan Chime, commended the organisation for investing in global health, tropical diseases and also in an investment that was reproductive and beneficial to the people of .

Chime, was represented by the Chairman of the state health committee, Mr Emeka Ogbuabo, said the state government rejoiced with the GLRA for reducing HIV prevalence and working to eliminate TB and leprosy in .

The governor commended the minister of health for his leadership and for using the health ministry to demonstrate to Nigerians and the world that the was well articulated in its transformation agenda.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the GLRA Country Representative, Mr Eehard Oehler, said the organization, a non-governmental agency , began its operation in Germany, adding that it did not discriminate in terms of religion, colour and tribe but rather believed in human beings.

He said the objective of the organisation was to help the less privileged people, particularly to eliminate TB, leprosy and reducing HIV prevalence in every community.

The Chief Executive Officer of GLRA, Mr Burkard Koomm, said the organisation was out to serve Nigerians, especially the less privileged.

In presenting the achievement of GLRA, Dr Joseph Chukwu, one of its medical advisers, showcased its inspirations and achievements to include supportive effort  in programmes on health matters.

Meritorious awards were presented to staff of the organisation and some contributed to its success.

One of the recipients, Mr Kenneth Udoh, said he had help when he went blind in 1991, but with the help of GLRA, he was able to achieve something tangible in life.

He said that he was grateful to GLRA for assisting him to become a graduate and guidance and counselor in a secondary school in Akwa Ibom. (NAN)