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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

‘YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE THE TREATMENT’

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The driver of my vehicle in Mato Grosso told me he once had leprosy. When small patches began to appear on his body in 2000, he quickly sought treatment and was cured without suffering any lasting after effects. “You have to be diagnosed and treated promptly. If you leave it, it only gets worse,” Admilson Luiz Da Silva told me.

“Some Brazilians won’t mention they have leprosy. But I believe that when you have the disease, it’s wrong to say nothing. Because of the medication, your skin can turn darker; there can be side effects. But you have to complete the treatment.

“I told my family, my friends — everyone. I was never once discriminated against. My family has been examined; no one else has the disease.”

Are people getting the message about leprosy, I wanted to know.

“There isn’t enough publicity. More should be done. Not everyone reads newspapers.

“TV is best. Everyone watches TV. If something about leprosy aired at the same time each day, that would be great.”