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Important Facts For Prelims

Leprosy

  • 02 Jul 2022
  • 2 min read

Why in news?

For months there has been an acute shortage of the key drug named Clofazimine which is used in Leprosy treatment in the private market.

  • Clofazimine, along with Rifampicin and Dapsone, is one of the three essential drugs in the Multi-Drug Treatment of Multibacillary Leprosy (MB-MDT) cases.

What do we Know about Leprosy?

  • About:
    • Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract. Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease.
    • It produces skin ulcers, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. If it isn’t treated, it can cause severe disfigurement and significant disability.
    • It is one of the oldest diseases in recorded history.
    • It is common in many countries, especially those with tropical or subtropical climates including India.
  • Prevalence of Disease:
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that leprosy is endemic in several Indian states and union territories, with an annual case detection rate of 4.56 per 10,000 population.
    • India reports more than 1,25,000 new patients of leprosy every year.

What are Related Government Initiatives?

  • National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP):
    • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of National Health Mission (NHM).
    • India has achieved the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem i.e., defined as less than 1 case per 10,000 populations, at the National level.
    • The NLEP aims at eliminating leprosy in each of the districts by 2030.
  • In 2017, SPARSH Leprosy Awareness Campaign was launched to promote awareness and address the issues of stigma and discrimination.

Source: TH

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