- February 21, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
TOPIC: Science & Tech.
Context- The COVID-19 pandemic leading to social distancing and lockdowns caused a fall of 62.5% in the detection of active leprosy cases in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh due to COVID induced restrictions, says a study.
About The Report:
- The latest report by the Leprosy Mission Trust India, “The pandemic and the people’s plight”, says that active case finding activities had been suspended in most States since April 2020.
- The report highlights that the proportions of multibacillary (MB) leprosy and grade-2 disability (G2D) among the new cases increased by 20% and 12%, respectively, from April to September 2020, compared with the ﬁgures for the corresponding six-month period in 2019.
- Moreover, the proportion of women and children among new cases decreased by 70% from the numbers during the two quarters in 2019.
- Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s Disease.
- It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium Leprae. It is a disease that leaves a terrifying image in its wake of mutilation, rejection, and exclusion from society.
- Genetic evidence supports the existence of Leprosy infections in hundred-thousand-year-old remains.
- Symptoms: Red patches on the skin, skin lesion, and numbness in arms, hands, and legs, ulcers on the soles of feet, muscle Weakness and excessive weight loss.
- It usually takes about 3-5 years for symptoms to appear after coming into contact with Leprosy causing bacteria. The long incubation period makes it difficult for doctors to determine when and where the person got infected.
- Infected areas: Skin, Peripheral nerves, Upper respiratory tract and Lining of the nose.
- It is transmitted mainly by breathing airborne droplets from the affected individuals. It can be contacted at any age.
- If not treated on time, Leprosy can lead to significant disability, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage in arms and legs and even loss of sensation in the body.
- Leprosy is curable with the combination of drugs known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).
Steps Taken to Eliminate Leprosy:
- World Health Organisation’s Global Leprosy Strategy (2016).
- National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) was launched by the Govt. of India in 1954- 55.
- Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) came into wide use from 1982, and the National Leprosy Eradication Programme was introduced in 1983.
- India achieved the goal set by the National Health Policy, 2002 of elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined as less than 1 case per 10,000 population, at the National level in December 2005.
- In 2016, the draconian colonial era’s Lepers Act was repealed.
- In 2017, the SPARSH Leprosy Awareness Campaign was launched to promote awareness and address the issues of stigma and discrimination.
- In 2019, Lok Sabha passed a Bill seeking to remove Leprosy as a ground for divorce.