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PIA Press Release
2010/02/17

DOH allots P500-T to Visayas Regions for leprosy ointment

Cebu City (17 February) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has allocated P500,000 for the manufacture of 'Kilatis Kutis', an anti-fungal ointment used as part of the treatment care of skin problems of people with Leprosy Disease.

Dr. Jocelyn Abellana, Head of the Communicable Diseases Program of the DOH-7 bared the announcement during the Kapihan sa PIA this morning as one of the topics being discussed is the nationwide annual celebration of the Leprosy Awareness Month this February.

Abellana said the budget allocation of half a million pesos will be given to the Eversley Sanitarium that is tasked to produce the ointment.

"The money to be given to Eversley is appropriated for the making of the 'Kilatis Kutis' ointment and the product will be allotted to the entire Visayas Region," Abellana said.

Eversley Sanitarium is a 27-hectare government medical institution under the DOH which is based in Mandaue City, Cebu that caters to people who suffer from leprosy or Hansen's disease.

Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease of the skin and nerves in the hands and feet and, in some cases, the lining of the nose and mostly affects children.

Leprosy Program Coordinator Dr. Joanri Riveral of the Eversley Sanitarium said the incidence rate of leprosy is declining and that the ratio is about 1:13,000 population in Central Visayas.

"Worldwide, the prevalence rate of leprosy cases is also going down," Riveral said.

Riveral said early diagnosis and treatment is a major factor in the declining incidence of leprosy cases while their aggressive campaign and contact tracing have been effective measures to battle the disease.

Riveral said that leprosy has been a grave health threat back in the 1930s until 1960s as the Eversley Sanitarium, first constructed in the 1930s, used to care back then about 500 leprosy patients.

"Today we only have three leprosy cases with ongoing treatment," Riveral said.

The Eversley Sanitarium today does not only care for leprosy cases but is now also providing managed care for other patients suffering from other diseases where their ward is currently accommodating over 20 patients, according to Riveral.

Treatment costs of leprosy is being subsidized by the government, this is learned.

Riveral said leprosy patients are treated to multiple drugs numbering to two to three drugs while duration of treatment before lasts until two years but now complete treatment can be shortened to one year.

As the country celebrates Leprosy Awareness Month, Riveral said they are conducting advocacy campaign in various schools in Cebu and offering free consultations and giving free ointment. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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