3 August 2006

Angola Shows Promising Indicators for Leprosy Eradication

Luanda — The Angolan Government will henceforth work with its national and international partners for the effective eradication of leprosy in the country, whose prevalence presents satisfactory indicators, current lying at one case per each 10,000 people.

The fact was guaranteed this Thursday to the press by the Angolan Health Minister, Sebastião Veloso, at the end of the audience that the Acting Head of State, Roberto de Almeida, granted to the Ambassador of Good Will of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the elimination of leprosy, Yohei Sasakawa, and his delegation.

However, the Minister, who did not reveal the period in which to attain the referred limit, said that the elimination of leprosy is a great challenge, especially in poor villages, after the Government was capable of reaching the minimum rate recommended by the WHO (01 case per 10,000 inhabitants).

At the end of the audience Yohei Sasakawa informed that the Acting Head of State, Roberto de Almeida, guaranteed aid on efforts to fight and eradicate the disease.

The Japanese official explained that his visit to Angola, the second in a period of three years, also aims at showing the efforts which are less known that the Angolan Government has been inserting in the fight against leprosy.

The Asian diplomat used the occasion to congratulate the Angolan soccer team for their participation in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he said they obtained a great international recognition.

On his turn, the Regional Director of WHO for Africa, the Angolan Luís Gomes Sambo guaranteed technical and financial aid from his organisation to the Health Ministry and its partners, viewing to eradicate the disease.

Information of the Health Ministry indicate that until late 2005 Angola reached the leprosy elimination levels demanded by WHO, obtaining a rate of 0,93 cases per 10,000 people.

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