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What is the news?
Recently, the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare tabled the progress report of Leprosy in the Rajya Sabha. According to that, India has achieved the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem defined as less than 1 case per 10,000 populations, at the National level.
What is Leprosy?
Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease is a chronic neuromuscular disorder. It is caused by several strains of Mycobacterium leprae. It has a long incubation period, which makes detection difficult. Leprosy can be cured with Multi-Drug Therapy(MDT).
What is National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP)?
It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the National Health Mission (NHM). It aims at eliminating leprosy in each of the districts by 2030. Strategies for Leprosy elimination include early case detection; complete treatment of detected cases, and containing the onset of disease in close contacts of the index cases (persons diagnosed with leprosy).
Major initiatives under Leprosy Eradication
– Active Case Detection and Regular Surveillance (ACDRS): It is conducted in both rural and urban areas in order to ensure detection of leprosy cases on a regular basis and at an early stage in order to prevent Grade II disabilities.
– Convergence of leprosy screening under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for screening of children (0-18 years) and under Ayushman Bharat for screening of people above 30 years of age.
|Read here: Govt rolls out scheme to screen all children below 18 for leprosy, TB|
– Focused Leprosy Campaign (FLC) in low endemic districts for case detection. Also, special plans for Hard-to-Reach areas for early case detection and treatment on time.
– NIKUSTH, real-time leprosy reporting software implemented across India. Also, Joint Monitoring and Investigation Group (JMIG) has been formed.
– Provision of certification and award for encouraging the district health functionaries for achieving the leprosy elimination.
– Various services are provided under the Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) programme, i.e., reaction management, provision of Microcellular Rubber (MCR) footwear, Aids & Appliances, self-care kits, etc.
– Reconstructive Surgeries (RCS) are conducted at District Hospitals/Medical Colleges/ Central Leprosy Institutes, and welfare allowance @ Rs 8000 is paid to each patient undergoing RCS.
Source: This post is based on the article “Progress Achieved in National Leprosy Eradication Programme” published in the PIB on 14th December 2021.