Experts say early treatment helps patients overcome disease
Like every year, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) will be launching a leprosy detection drive in the city during October 3 and 14.
The health department of the AMC carries out a major awareness and detection drive twice a year on the birth and death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
"We will be implementing a special drive in the high risk areas, falling in the jurisdiction of 12 health centres of the AMC.
They are Peer Bazaar (Osmanpura), Bhimnagar and Bhausinghpura (across Nandanwan Colony), Qaiser Colony (Shahgunj), Naregaon (Chikalthana MIDC), N-8 (Cidco), N-11 (Cidco), Rajnagar (Mukundwadi), Jawahar Colony, Pundaliknagar (Garkheda) and Nakshatrawadi (Paithan Road).
"Civic staff members, who will undertake the leprosy detection drive, had undergone a formal training in August," said health officer Dr Jaishree Kulkarni.
According to experts, the prevalence rate (PR) of leprosy should be less than 1 per 10,000 persons. There are two types of leprosy patients. The first one is infectious type and is caused due to multi-bacillary (MB), while the second one in non-infectious type and is caused due to pauci-bacillary (PB). The MB type of patients require multi-drug therapy for a year, while PB type patients can be treated in six months.
Dr Kulkarni added, "Most of the patients discontinue treatment when they start feeling better. Through this detection drive, we are hopeful of identifying old and new patients. Early diagnosis helps in preventing deformities and get rid of the disease."
In many parts of the country, lepers still continue to face discrimination and a major social stigma is associated with this disease. Early treatment helps patients overcome this stigma, said experts.