India houses 60% of world’s new leprosy cases: NCPEDP

Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases. While recognised as a disability under the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act of 1995 and is completely curable, persons affected by leprosy continue to face discrimination not only from society at large, but also from other people with disabilities

India houses 60% of world’s new leprosy cases: NCPEDP

  • India accounts for over 60 per cent of annual new cases of leprosy and is home to around 800 self-settled leprosy colonies. According to the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).
  • WHO data reveals that in 2016, a total of 2,14,783 cases of leprosy were reported worldwide.
  • There were 18,000 child cases and 12437 cases who were already suffering from serious disabilities at the time of diagnosis.
  • 1,35,485 cases were from India, amounting to about 60% of the newly reported cases

Mumbai has recorded 98 new cases of leprosy from January to June 2018. And out of the new cases which have been recorded, 8% are young children.

While Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Raju Jotkar, Director of Health Services (leprosy) said, “Leprosy is a contagious disease, so whosoever comes in the contact with the patient also gets affected by that. Mumbai has not seen a rise in the leprosy cases. Since January 2018, till now we have found 98 new cases. As per the World Health Organisation, India contributes to 60% of new leprosy cases.”

He added, “Leprosy spreads through contact with the mucus of an infected person. This usually occurs when the infected person sneezes or coughs. The disease isn’t highly contagious. Close, repeated contact with an untreated person can lead to contracting leprosy.”

Dr Jotkar further added, “The state government has started a campaign identify people suffering from leprosy. We identify and treat the patients.”