Berhampur: Shamba Rath - the chariot to spread message on the benefit of multi drug therapy (MDT) for leprosy patients, will travel in four out of 22 blocks of Odisha's Ganjam district for a week.
Chief district medical officer (CDMO) Niranjan Behera and superintendent, MKCG Medical College and Hospital AK Behera yesterday flagged off five such chariots here on the occasion of National Anti-leprosy Day.
While each one chariot would move to create awareness among the people about the treatment of the leprosy with MDP in the blocks like Badagada, Buguda, Kukudakhandi, two such vehicles in Patrapur block in the district.
These blocks have been identified for intensive awareness programme as several new cases were reported from there, said district leprosy officer (DLO) Niranjan Bhatt.
The new leprosy cases detected in the district in 2011-12 and 2012-13 stood at 422 and 362 respectively, while 2013-14 (upto December-2013) it was 337. The prevalence rate (PR) in the disease was less than 1 per 10,000 population.
“The district is now free from leprosy as per the guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO),” DLO said.
“We are now working to reduce the number of new cases in to bring prevalence rate to zero level,” Bhatt said.
It could be possible only due to increasing awareness about use of the MDT, said CDMO.
After implementation of MDT, describing a miracle drug in the field of leprosy, the prevalence rate of the disease was drastically reduced to less than one from 300 per 10,000 population in 1982, he said.
MDP was used in the treatment of leprosy in the district on a pilot basis in 1982 along with 8 districts in the country, the DLO said.