We need more education on leprosy - Father Campbell

BY: graphic.com.gh
Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell posing with one of the inmates at the Weija Leprosarium
Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell posing with one of the inmates at the Weija Leprosarium

The Founder of the Lepers Aid committee, Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, has called for more education on leprosy in the country.

He said the biggest problem with leprosy in the country was the stigma that comes with it, something he said enough education will help put an end to.

“Even to this day, people are afraid of going near them. When they see them, they don’t want to go near for fear of getting some. People need to be educated,” he stated.

Father Campbell said this when he took his turn on the ‘Engine Room’ series on the Springboard Your Virtual University.

Sharing his first encounter with a leper, he said, as a young priest at the Holy Spirit Cathedral, a leper came to gift him a bag of mangoes.

“When I was young priest at Holy Spirit Cathedral in 1974, I was working out one morning in the garden of the church when this leper came with a bag of mangoes as a gift,” he stated.

He said, he, however, gave out all the mangoes immediately for fear of getting leprosy.

“But I later told myself this is not right so I went out to Weija and I was devastated when I saw the condition of the place. So I told myself this is what God has called me to do and I decided to help them.

“So I started the Leprosy Aid Committee and we started raising money, having sponsorships to support them,” he narrated.

He pointed out that after so many years of being amongst the lepers, he has never had any fear of getting leprosy and therefore encourages people to get closer to them.

Borrowed life

Father Campbell noted that he almost died from the COVID-19 virus but God gave him another chance to live because he had unfinished business.

He said one morning he tried to get out of bed but couldn’t and was rushed to the University of Ghana Medical Centre where they tested him for COVID.

He said the results was however negative but was kept a few more days at the hospital.

“After I went home, on the midnight of July 11, 2020, I had a crisis, they had to call in doctors and my blood pressure was that of a dead body. I was literally dead but God being so good, I was healed.

“God told me I haven’t finished my work so I should go and help the poor. I was retiring in a few months and God gave me a vision through that experience that it was not time to go on retirement,” he explained.

He said he would therefore continue to give his life to helping people.