Leprosy may have left the public discourse but it is still prevalent in India: in six months from April to September 2016, 79,000 leprosy cases were detected, according to National Health Profile, 2017.

Leprosy is a slow progressive disease that damages the skin and the nervous system. Caused due to infection by Mycobacterium leprae, it leads to skin lesions, disfigurement and loss of sensation in limbs.

Uttar Pradesh had the most number of cases (13,423) but it was the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli that has the highest prevalence of 7.93 per 10,000, which means nearly 8 people in 10,000 have leprosy.


Source: National Health Profile,2017

India had eliminated leprosy in 2005, with prevalence rate of less than 1 per 10,000, but it still had world’s leprosy burden in 2015. It currently has a prevalence rate of 0.81 per 10,000.

Bihar (1.3), Chhattisgarh (3.54), Goa (1.1), Jharkhand (1.23), West Bengal (1.13), Odisha (1.9), Chandigarh (1.25), Delhi (1.26) and Dadra Nagar Haveli (7.93) have higher than 1 case per 10,000 showing that the disease has not been eliminated from all states.


Source: National Health Profile,2017

There were 105,564 cases of leprosy under treatment while 59,356 were discharged as cured till September 2016.

(Yadavar is principal correspondent with IndiaSpend.)

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