Current perspectives on leprosy as a public health challenge in India

Aparna Pandey
  • Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine, July 2015, Dove Medical Press
  • DOI: 10.2147/rrtm.s54783

Leprosy in India: Current perspectives

What is it about?

Leprosy is a disease with crippling consequences, not only on the effected persons and their families but also on the society as a whole. It was considered incurable before the introduction of Multi-Drug Therapy, popularly known as MDT. This has brought down the case load substantially. Hence to optimise the use of scarce resources and enhance the reach of leprosy care, the see services got integrated in General Health System. However a constant watch and support is needed to avoid the setbacks. Hence the review paper examines the trend of new cases in the integrated set up. Delay in diagnosis may not only lead to hazardous consequences for the individual but also leads to infection of others persons mostly children in the community. Proportion of Children among new cases is an important indicator for on-going transmission. Steps are required to generate the awareness in the community about the leprosy sign and symptoms importance of early diagnosis and availability of treatment at the primary health centre level. School children need to be examined periodically; they may also be used as messenger to educate the community. Timely steps are very much required to retain the gains of hard work of many years but also to achieve our dream of a “World without Leprosy “.

Why is it important?

Major importance of leprosy is due to its crippling consequences. As the case remains symptom free in the early stages. The treatment seeking is delayed, which is common reason for the hazardous consequences as well as enhanced transmission in the community. Scarcity of staff and lack of proper infrastructure for though physical examination is another reason for missing the case. With high on-going transmission children get effected and develop deformity. Apparently they have bleak future. We need to educate effectively to the society, health functionaries, school children and teachers , so the cases are diagnosed early, treated completely and the consequences are avoided.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/rrtm.s54783

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