Current scenario of leprosy in post elimination era at a tertiary care hospital in central India

Shiva Shankari L, Nitin A Ambhore, Rupali S Mantri


Background: Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae primarily affecting the skin and peripheral nerves. Though India announced statistical elimination of leprosy as public health problem under the National Leprosy Eradication Programme in December 2005, still wide variations exist in prevalence rates of this disease across the country.
Objectives: Of the study were to determine the pattern, occurrence and trends of smear positive leprosy cases at Government medical college, Akola.
Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study conducted from January 2018 to February 2020. All patients suspected of leprosy were confirmed by slit skin smear examination. Record details of age, type and duration of disease, deformity status were noted.
Results: Total 520 clinically suspected were examined. 175 were diagnosed smear positive foe acid fast bacilli. Males outnumbered females. Smear positivity was highest in 21- 40 years age group. Multibacillary cases were 103(58.85%) and paucibacillary were 72(41.14%).
Interpretation and Conclusion: Present study shows that despite statistical elimination, leprosy still continues to be a challenge. Approaches like destigmatising the disease, family counseling, integrating leprosy care into general health care systems, developing newer diagnostic and epidemiological tools, chemoprophylactic regimens and vaccines are needed to develop eradication strategy that can reduce the burden of leprosy in India.

Keywords: Leprosy, Acid fast bacilli, Smear positive cases.

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