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2016-08_dc

D+C  e-Paper  August 2016 27 Skin camps The most important contribution Radio Wa made, however, was to inform people about the skin camps that toured from district to district, providing oppor- tunities to get diagnosed and access treatment. More than half of the patients who attended the skin camps had heard about the camps thanks to Radio Wa. In the village, where the next skin camp would take place, extra announcements were made. In some places, churches and mosques spread the information as well. Radio Wa also motivated sev- eral patients to go to the Lira referral hospital, and quite a few of them came in time to prevent disfigure- ment and disability. The camps also provided a good opportunity to further educate local health staff on leprosy (see box, p. 28). The camps started at 10:00 o’clock in the morn- ing. Normally, hundreds of patients would already be waiting in front of the respective health facility. At first there was a lesson in public health for all, which was followed by questions and answers session. The ses- sions were recorded and excerpts were aired during the radio show the next Sunday. This way, the reality of leprosy was brought into people’s homes. At the camps, people were examined and treated after the educational part. Patients suspected to have leprosy were referred to specialists for confirmation. They were then given personal advice and had the opportunity to ask questions. Moreover, they were registered and given medicine. The treatment started immediately. Patients learned when and where to pick up the next dose of medicine. They went home know- ing they had finally found competent help. The total number of patients seen in 13 skin camps was 5354, out of whom 43 were diagnosed as leprosy patients. Another 29 were still on follow-up at the start of 2016 to determine the final diagnosis. The rest had a wide variety of skin conditions, mostly fun- gal and bacterial infections. Appropriate treatment or referral was provided. Talking Health was coordinated by Doryn Ebong, a nurse who lives in the northern Ugandan town of Lira and has been cooperating with Radio Wa for health-related broadcasts for a long time. Her coordi- nation committee included a journalist, two persons affected by leprosy, an NTLP officer and district offic- ers. Ebong handled the budget and reported to the German donor NGO. Ebong’s approach was consulta- tive, letting the districts take the lead in identifying Two persons affected by leprosy take part in a radio programme. Talking Health

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