Leprosy, a curable and non communicable disease
Considering the bacteria are very difficult to destroy, antibiotic treatment has to be continued for a long period of time, depending on the severity of the infection and the doctor's judgment, treatment may continue anywhere from six to many years.
Usually a patient suffering from leprosy has to take medication for the rest of his life. “The disease is 100% curable through multi-drug treatment available at every primary health centre now. The treatment is free of cost,”.
India is among the countries with highest number of leprosy patients in the world. According to latest figures there are 292, 730 patients on record accounting for 2.74 leprosy patients per 10, 000 people.
As per WHO standards the ‘elimination level’ is less than one person per 10, 000 people. Indian states with more than five cases per 10, 000 are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. In Uttar Pradesh, it is 4.12 per 10, 000 and in Bengal it is 2.7 per 10, 000. Over all the leprosy rate has reduced from 57.6 per 10, 000 in 1981 to 3.2 per 10, 000 in 2003.
However, there are still 300 leprosy colonies throughout the country indicating a widespread prevalence.