SC issues notice to govt on curbing leprosy in country

The Supreme Court Monday expressed concern over prevalence of leprosy in the country despite the disease being curable and sought explanation form Centre and state governments for their alleged failure to curb it.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday expressed concern over prevalence of leprosy in the country despite the disease being curable and sought explanation form Centre and state governments for their alleged failure to curb it.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to governments asking them to file their response within four weeks after it was alleged that leprosy affects over 1.25 lakh people annually in the country.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by Pankaj Sinha who alleged that governments have failed to eliminate the disease despite medical treatment available since 1981.

"Despite of an effective cure, namely Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT), which has been available since 1981 that can completely cure 99 per cent of leprosy bacteria, due to apathy of the Government of India and the State Governments, people are still suffering from the said disease, which is treated as a social stigma," the petition said.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that governments be directed to make the drugs available at primary health centres.

He also pleaded that appropriate scheme be formulated to bring people suffering from leprosy into national mainstream.

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