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28.05.2007 General News

Lepers not paid allowance?

By ; The Ghanaian Times

Inmates of the Weija Leprosarium have not received their allowances for the past six months.

The government increased the allowance from c1,200 to c6,000, last year, but the payment has delayed and this has resulted in the centre relying almost entirely on benevolent organisations for their survival, says the Reverend Father Andrew Compbell, chairman of the Lepers Aid Committee.

He said that the situation was so bad that it required immediate solution.

Rev. Father Compbell was speaking after members of the St. Augustine's Anglican Church at Dansoman, Accra presented clothing, footwear and assorted foodstuff valued at C10 million to inmates of the Leprosarium at Weija in Accra over the weekend.

He appealed to government to intervene as a matter of urgency.

He further appealed to the Ministry of Health to extend the payment of government allowances to inmates of other leprosariums countrywide to help improve their living conditions.

"When the Minister of Health requested me to present the list of lepers at the Weija site, I presented a total of 500 names because beside the 37, at Weija, there are other lepers who need to benefit from such a package," he added.

Rev. Fr. Compbell said that if the allowances were extended to the others, it would give more meaning to the government's policy of integrating lepers into the society.

He said six months is a long time for an already marginalised people in society.

Rev. Fr. Campbell said the inmates were trying to support themselves by engaging in such income-generating activities as the making of tie-and-dye and soap.

The Lepers Aid Committee was also doing well to raise funds to support their upkeep, he said, but stated this was not enough.

The parish priest of the St. Augustine Church, Rev. Fr. Jonathan Wilberforce, appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to continue to support the inmates in all their needs.

Source; The Ghanaian Times