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Lepers besiege CHO’s residence

Lepers and their families at the Suakoko Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in Bong County have besieged the home of Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi, demanding him to give Team Work Africa chance to renovate their housing facilities at the camp.

Last Month, Team Work Africa – a local nongovernmental organization, had promised to recondition all of the houses at the camp to give a conducive living environment to the lepers still being harbored in dilapidated buildings.

But the Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Arzoauoi, stopped the organization on grounds that he was not informed about the renovation work and that there were no lepers at the camp.

The lepers, who spent more than four hours at the home of Dr. Arzoauoi, before being convinced by Bong Police Commander Fedrick Nepay to return to their camp, said their action was intended to remind the CHO that there were lepers in the camp, as well as to prove him wrong after providing misinformation to the public about their health.

In a nonviolent mood, they sat on the porch of the CHO’s residence, refusing to leave. Dr. Arzoaquoi has expressed sadness over the action by the lepers, saying his home was not the right place to go if they were dissatisfied with him.

He maintained that the renovation will not go ahead on grounds that lepers are no more being kept in camp as it was in the past. Dr. Arzoaquoi added that he expected the lepers to have gone to his office, other than his private home.

Huge criticisms continue to pull in against the County Health Officer after rumors that he was allegedly instructed by the Representative of Electoral District Number Five to stop the project on grounds that the Executive Director of Team Work Africa, Peter Flomo, had an intention to contest against him, and that renovating the buildings would give him added political popularity.

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The lepers are expected to sit with Bong County Attorney Cornelius Wennah today to discuss the way forward for the renovation of their dilapidated structures that have not been renovated since their construction in the 1960s. By Papa Morris from Suakoko, Bong County – Editing by George Barpeen

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