20 Oct 2004

Leprosy foundation concerned there could be resurgence of leprosy in Kiribati

12:05 pm on 20 October 2004

There's growing concern that there could a resurgence of leprosy in Kiribati.

The manager of the Pacific Leprosy Foundation in Christchurch, Michael Goumett says apart from Kiribati and Solomon Islands, South Pacific countries are leprosy free.

He says with the focus having been taken off the leprosy programme in Kiribati, theres been a resurgence of the disease among young people which is a major concern.

"When you have a case diagnosed in young people you know you have active transmission of the disease in the community. So there is now a move to re-establish a leprosy programme and start screening children. Once that programme starts it will certainly reduce the incidence of leprosy which, in past years, has been quite high."