New Delhi: Government has adopted a new
strategy to encourage voluntary and early reporting of leprosy
in a bid to reduce the burden of the disease in the country
and also prevent disablilities caused by it.
With over 1,20,000 leprosy cases reported annually, 3900
people disabled by the disease and 12,000 children suffering
from it, India is among the three countries which have
reported the maximum number of leprosy cases.
"Government of India has adopted a new strategy which
will encourage voluntary reporting for timely cure and
prevention of disabilities caused by leprosy. We believe
collaborative partnerships with international leprosy agencies
and multi-sectoral coordination with other ministries are
extremely important in achieving the goal of elimination of
leprosy," WHO representative to India Dr Nata Menabde said.
They include implementation of innovative approaches for
case finding by involvement of community-based organizations,
improving quality of services for diagnosis and management
till treatment completion and promoting rehabilitation of
people affected by leprosy, he said at a meeting of Health
Secretaries and State Program Managers of 16 states here to
discuss reduction of leprosy burden in India.
The Government of India in partnership with major
international leprosy agencies and WHO has developed a
result-based programme for the 12th five-year plan to diagnose
disabilities caused due to leprosy in early stages.
"209 districts with high number of leprosy cases will
be targeted and followed up over a period of time i.e.,
2011-2015. Innovative approaches like involvement of
Faith-Based Organisations, Child-to-Child approach in
spreading the leprosy message, and basic screening have also
been included, he said.