As new cases rise, leprosy in spotlight
- he rise in the number of recorded leprosy cases from 86,147 (in 2013-14) to 90,709 (2017-18), reported a decade and a half after India was declared leprosy-free in 2005, has turned the spotlight on the hotspots for the disease.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set the goal of zero children with leprosy and deformities by 2020, and less than one patient per million for other newly diagnosed patients.
- Today, though, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra remain the ‘hotspots’ from which maximum prevalence was detected last year. High population density, poor sanitation and inadequate access to nutrition are among the reasons for the number remaining high. The Centre says a more aggressive detection campaign is being carried out, explaining the numbers.
- The Leprosy Case Detection Campaign has shown that 34,730 cases were detected in 2016, 32,147 in 2017, and 16,097 in 2018.