Patients at the Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in Suakoko, Bong County recently besieged the residence of the Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Sampson Arzuakoi, on the Phebe Hospital Compound.
The lepers told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) that their decision was based on Dr. Arzuakoi’s alleged refusal to grant Team Work Africa (TWA), a local humanitarian organization, the go-ahead to rehabilitate their dilapidated housing facility at the center.
The lepers, who sat on the porch of the home of Dr. Arzuakoi also alleged that Dr. Arzuakoi told TWA that there were no lepers at the cluster, claiming that this assertion betrayed a key component of his profession.
When contacted by the LINA, Dr. Arzuakoi refuted claims that he denied Team Work Africa authorization to rehabilitate the house where the lepers reside.
On claims that he said lepers don’t exist at the colony, the CHO said in conformity with international standards, the Ministry of Health no longer colonizes lepers, noting that those at the colony are people who got deformed as a result of the disease and should have returned to their respective communities upon receiving treatment.
Dr. Arzoaquoi stressed that he did not prevent Team Work Africa from doing the renovation, but rather referred Pastor Peter Flomo, the head of TWA to Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy as head of the county to give him the green light.
Meanwhile, the lepers have left the residence of Dr. Arzuakoi following interventions by some local and national leaders of the county.