The Provincial Government of Abra headed by Governor Joy Bernos through the Provincial Health Office conducts Hansenites gathering at the PHO Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Operation Center, Bangued.

Abra Medical Society, Philippine Red Cross-Abra Chapter, and Provincial DOH of Abra joined this activity to boost the confidence of the leprosy patients to seek medication instead of hiding.

Skin and medical consultation are given to the participants. They are also given gift packs (groceries and personal hygiene kits).

Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) is a chronic infectious disease that primarily affects the peripheral nerves and skin caused by a bacillus bacterium known as Mycobacterium leprae. People associated with leprosy are called hansenites.

Leprosy Provincial Program Coordinator Lilibeth Martin said the participants are those who are already cured of leprosy and several patients with ongoing treatment

Guest Speaker Thelma Formoso of Bukal ng Buhay-Coalition of Leprosy Advocates Ilocos Sur Chapter talked about the signs and symptoms of Leprosy that can help them detect cases.

Leprosy symptoms are appearance of skin lesions that are lighter than the surrounding skin and that would linger for weeks or months and having patches of skin with decreased sensation to touch, pain, and heat.

She said early detection is important to stop the spread of disease. Medicines are free and leprosy is curable. Hiding can only make the situation worst.

For any skin problems, visit the RHUs and Provincial Health Office (old APH)  for skin consultation and treatment.