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ISSN: Print -2349-0977, Online - 2349-4387
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-27

Containing leprosy: Current epidemiological status, detection and management strategies, and experiences at a tertiary level center

1 Department of Dermatology, Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi, India
2 Consultant Dermatologist, Primus Superspecialty Hospital, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Arora
Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi - 110010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-0977.131858

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Leprosy, an infectious disease, described since ancient times and endemic in India since then, has been eliminated (elimination defined as a prevalence of less than 1 case per 10,000 population) as a public health problem in December 2005. World Health Organization and National Leprosy Eradication Program (NLEP) have now focused on reducing the disease burden in the population. Data indicates that annual fresh case detection rate remains high with a high incidence of multibacillary cases. A review of present NLEP figures and those reported in a number of studies reflect a discordance and caution by dermatologists. A review of present policy, epidemiological status in the population, and our experience is presented. Data from Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, over the past 3 years, including patients treated as well as those on surveillance is presented. A higher incidence of paucibacillary cases was seen, with a high incidence of pure neuritic involvement (15%), reactions (24.7%), and deformities (28.37%). Tenosynovitis was observed with increasing frequency. Future challenges in containing the epidemic to reduce the disease burden in population will require regular assessment of treatment measures, especially the use of fixed drug therapy as well as rehabilitation of the affected. Dermatologists shall play a central role in any such endeavor in the management of this disease.

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