60% of global new cases detected every year continue to be in India despite a declaration in 2005 that leprosy was eradicated (1 cases per 10,000 population).
According to Diana Lockwood from the Department of Clinical Research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical medicine. “The difference between reported and observed estimates suggests that up to half of India’s leprosy cases are not being reported”
Still known as Maharogi (big disease) in India, the fear of contracting leprosy hinders timely diagnosis and treatment. In women especially, reluctance to report the early signs of the disease are linked to concerns of being cast out of the matrimonial home.
In the fight to eradicate leprosy, a method of Survey Education and Treatment was adopted (SET), significantly improving the detection rate. Since SET was stopped in 2005, new cases often seek treatment at private clinics where they are vulnerable to misdiagnosis and exploitation.
The early signs of leprosy are usually light coloured (hypo-pigmented) patches on the skin. These trouble free signs are ignored until the patient experiences loss of sensation and or mobility, due to nerve damage caused by Mycobacterium Leprae.
Our Solutions to Help Beat Leprosy
We provide ulcer management for those with non-healing ulcers caused by neglect of insensitive hands and feet
Social events and trips are regularly organised to combat isolation and loneliness.
We reduce the stigma and improve leprosy awareness through the use of visual material to illustrate the early stages of leprosy.
Our “Meals on Wheels” service offers cooked meals to those with insensitive and deformed hands.