Several lepers at the Suakoko Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in Bong County are said to be abandoned by the government despite of their cries for assistance. The lepers said they are experiencing harsh realities of life, living in complete poverty with none caring for their well-being; The Analyst’s Bong County Correspondent D. Patrick Tokpa reports.
The Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in Suakoko was set up during the regime of late President William V.S. Tubman for those who are unable to overcome the fear and pressure of society because of their ailment and were taken away from their husbands, wives and/or children when the relationship became unbearable.
They were being fed and treated on regular basis through a Canadian charity group until the outbreak of the Liberian civil war in 1989.
The establishment of the leprosy camp as being popularly known as the Suakoko leper colony was to host several leper patients who were unable to overcome the fear and stigmatization from their housemates and other family members.
Currently, over three hundred people including the lepers themselves are living in the community with little or no help form the past and present government and other partners.
Eagerly moving into the terrain to ascertain the situation, the ANALYST Newspaper Reporter quizzed the administrator of the colony, Justin Togbah on prevailing circumstances hindering them a condition he flagged with frustrations.
Mr. Togbah said they are finding it extremely difficult to meeting productive life standard due to the lack of several social services from government and other humanitarian partners.
He recounted that they are encountering strange diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, etc., due the contaminated creeks they use for drinking and bathing.
Currently, one of the three hand-pumps in the area is damaged, he said, and pointed out the only elementary school in the area, for which he is the Principal, lacks sitting capacity, with the entire roof leaking.
He lamented that the lack of basic school supply from government through the Ministry of Education Bong office is a condition that needs serious attention if the kids in the area should be developed to useful citizens instead of mere illiterate farmers.
The colony’s administrator further used the medium to call on philanthropic organizations to come to their aid.