Leprosy cases seen in Jaffna again

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Leprosy, almost non-existent in the Thenmaradchi region in Jaffna recently, is emerging again in that area, said sources in Jaffna. A case detected at Meesalai in Chavakachcheri in the Thenmaradchi region, is causing concern in Jaffna medical circles as even the handful of reported cases in the peninsula have come from Tholpuram, Chulipuram and Velanai.

Public Health Officer of Jaffna, C. Deivendram is conducting research as to how leprosy spread to the Thenmaradchchi region.

It is believed that the displacement of the Jaffna population during operation Riviresa in 1995, could have caused the disease to spread to the southern part of the peninsula, said sources.

Meanwhile, Mr. Deivendram believes that the primary reason for Malaria reaching near epidemic proportions in Thenmaradchi region is due to soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) not disposing of king-coconut shells safely.

He said that that water, accumulating in king-coconut shells thrown by the roadside, or near the coconut plantations, allowed the rapid and widespread breeding of mosquitoes.

He demonstrated the ill effects of water accumulating in king-coconut shells at meeting held in jaffna recently high lighting the problem by showing one in which larvae were breeding rampantly, said sources.

Jaffna residents do not drink king-coconut routinely, except when ill. This is not so in the southern parts of the island, where it is frequently drunk by Sinhalese both for its medicinal properties and to quench thirst.

The SLA, comprising primarily of Sinhala soldiers, find the king-coconut a readily available thirst quencher found in abundance in the abandoned coconut plantations and derelict compounds of Jaffna, particularly in the Thenmaradchi region.


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