Madhes Province records 40 per cent of country’s total leprosy cases
The 70th World Leprosy Day is being marked today by organizing different programmes under the theme of “Act Now. End Leprosy”. World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January every year.
Since 1954, this day has been observed all around the world in order to raise awareness about leprosy. Despite the fact that Nepal was declared leprosy-free in 2010, new cases continue to emerge, mostly in the Tarai districts. According to government figures, Nepal witnessed a total of 2,285 new patients of leprosy in the fiscal year 2079/080.
Leprosy is not a disease that is passed down through the generations. However, doctors say that if someone is seen with leprosy disease in the family or community, the chances of seeing it in others are high.
As per the government data, there are a total of 910 cases of leprosy in Madhes Province, which is around 40 percent of the total cases of leprosy recorded in the country. Surprisingly, Saptari district in Madhes province has no leprosy cases.
Likewise, 581 in Lumbini, 345 in Province 1, 205 in Sudurpaschim and 68 cases of leprosy are reported in Karnali province. The number of leprosy patients is less in Gandaki and Bagmati provinces compared to other provinces.
In Nepal, 16 districts have recorded higher cases of leprosy. The districts include Jhapa, Morang, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Parasi, Rupandehi, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Achham.
Starting its operation in Nepal in 1975, NLR Nepal is involved in leprosy, disabilities and inclusive development in the districts of Mahottari and Dhanusha of Madhes province. The organization distributes medicines and conducts preventive measures in those districts.
Likewise, the Madhes Province Government has also upped its activities for the treatment and prevention of leprosy, as more cases were reported there. The Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Service Centre is offering services to those in need under the auspices of Nepal Leprosy Trust.
Health Division Chief of Social Development Ministry of Madhes Province, Dr Mukti Narayan Shah, said that leprosy camp would be conducted in every single month in each district of the province to diagnose and cure the leprosy.
The Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Service Centre is offering treatment to as high as 400 patients of skin and leprosy in every single day.