Skip to main content

20,000 "hidden" leprosy cases detected in India, number of patients rise by 1.22 per cent in 2016: Report

By Our Representative
The Government of India has detected a whopping 20,000 “hidden cases of leprosy” during a massive door-to-door campaign conducted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from September 14 to October 4, says a well-researched report by a top environmental journal, insisting, this is a cause of great worry.
Maharashtra (7,000) and Bihar (4,000) have together reported more than half of the total hidden cases, with West Bengal also reporting a high number of hidden cases, the report states, adding, “These cases go unreported, mainly due to the fear and stigma associated with the disease.”
These facts should be worrying India, which is home to 60 per cent of the world’s leprosy patients, also because as per the National Leprosy Elimination Programme (NLEP), 127,326 leprosy cases recorded in 2015-16, an increase of 1.22 per cent from 2014-15, when 125,785 cases were detected.
Worse, the report reveals, quoting government data, leprosy cases of grade II disability (damage to limbs and nerves) increased to 5,794 in 2014-15 from 3,019 in 2005. “Even the percentage of grade II disability among new cases detected has increased from 3.10 per cent (2010-2011) to 4.61 per cent (2014-15). It indicates that the cases were being detected late”, it points out.
The rise in cases of disability is considered bad sign. This occurs when an active case of leprosy infection goes unreported for a long time and is untreated for over two years of active infection, says experts.
In all, around 32 crore people are claimed to have been screened in various states. In March-April, a similar detection programme was conducted in 50 districts across seven states. Out of 65,427 suspected cases, 4,120 were later confirmed.
The mass screening programmes, says the report, are aimed at covering all districts in high-burden states that have a prevalence rate of more than one leprosy case in a population of 10,000 in the past three years.
According to NLEP, Chhattisgarh has a prevalence rate of between two and five in every 10,000 persons. In Odisha, two in every 10,000 persons are infected with leprosy. Delhi and Chandigarh have more than one case in a population of 10,000.
A case of leprosy starts showing signs of disability like loss of fingers and toes two years after the setting in of the infection. Disability can be avoided by starting timely treatment when symptoms like discolouration, oily patches or nodules on the skin are reported early.
In December 2005, the Government of India declared it had fewer than one case of leprosy per 10,000 people. This announcement of elimination, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), brought relief to a country known to have the highest burden of the disease.
“But the sense of relief is disappearing fast”, says the report, prepared by the "Down to Earth" team, adding, “Since 2009, the incidence of new cases has remained almost constant. In fact, new cases are being detected at nearly the same rate at which patients are getting cured.”
In 2013-14 alone, 127,000 new leprosy cases were reported from across the country, making India home to 78 per cent of the new cases detected worldwide. That year, 433 treated patients relapsed into the disease.
Since 2014, India has joined the growing list of countries, including Brazil and China, where leprosy can no longer be treated by the conventional multi-drug therapy (MDT). The report says, “What’s worrying is that new patients are now showing resistance to MDT, whereas drug resistance is usually experienced by those who discontinue the treatment.”

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.