Leprosy eradication campaign launched

New Delhi : With an aim to eradicate leprosy from India, the country’s biggest leprosy detection campaign has been launched in 19 states and union territories, it was announced on Tuesday.

The fortnight-long Leprosy Case Detection Campaign (LCDC) was launched on Monday to cover 1,656 blocks as well as urban areas in 149 districts across the country and screen a total of 32 crore people for the disease, a Health Ministry statement here said.

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“For this purpose, 2,97,604 teams, comprising of one lady ASHA worker and a male volunteer each, would visit every house and screen all the family members.”

According to the ministry, the LCDC is a unique initiative to examine each and every member of the targeted population.

“House-to-house visits will be done as per the micro plan prepared to detect hidden leprosy cases. The objective of the campaign is the early detection of leprosy in affected persons so that they can be saved from physical disability and deformity by providing timely treatment to them and also halting the transmission of the disease,” said the statement.

The launch came after Health Minister J.P. Nadda reviewed the National Leprosy Eradication Programme in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to eradicate the disease from the country.

The states and union territories to be covered under this campaign are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Delhi and Lakshadweep.

“The districts having a prevalence rate of more than one case per 10,000 population in any of the last three years have been included in this campaign,” it said.

The first LCDC was launched during March-April in 50 districts of seven states namely Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh wherein a population of about 6.8 crore was covered.

During this campaign, at least 65,427 suspected cases were identified out of which 4,120 were later confirmed.