Although the government had declared the eradication of leprosy from the country three years ago, the number of leprosy patients in Aurangabad has recently been on the rise. As many as 41 new patients with leprosy were identified in the ten months between April 2012 and January 2013.
The matter came to the light after the volunteers identified the new patients and informed the district public health office. They found 41 new leprosy cases have been recorded in the last six months. The volunteers who report new cases are paid by the health department.
The real number of the patients suffering from the leprosy might be higher as people tend to hide the disease due to the fear of the social stigma that is associated with it. Volunteers reporting new cases are paid Rs 100 per patient. Zilla parishad health authorities paid Rs 4100 to the health volunteers this month.
Meanwhile, as many as 171 leprosy patients were fully treated with the help of DOTS treatment procedure in Aurangabad district. Health volunteers tending to the patients are paid Rs 250 per patient. Thus a cumulative amount of Rs 42,759 was paid to these volunteers.
"The DOTS treatment is very effective. Leprosy patients need not only medication but also proper support for rehabilitation in society," said volunteers.