KOHIMA, MAY 29: Nagaland Commissioner & Secretary for Health & Family Welfare, Y Kikheto Sema today sought the support and cooperation of stakeholders in achieving India’s target of becoming a Leprosy Free nation by 2027.
He made the appeal during the inaugural programme of the 2-day National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP), North Eastern States regional review meeting-cum-training programme kick, which started today at Hotel De Oriental Grand here.
India is making progress and new Leprosy cases are declining every year while it has promised to be “Leprosy Free” by 2027 three years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), he said.
In this, Sema while expressing that the Government alone cannot achieve the target but needs the support and coordination of all stakeholders with 4Cs – Coordination, Cooperation, Confidence and Contribution.
Saying that earlier it was believed that Leprosy was considered as punishment for sin because it was a chronic and incurable disease, Sema said that despite advances in all spheres of medical science, Leprosy continues to be a public health challenge and still occurs in more than 120 countries, with more than 2 lakh new cases reported every year.
The Government of India launched the National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) in 1954-55 with Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) from 1982, and the National Leprosy Eradication Programme in 1983 making remarkable progress.
However, India still has the highest Leprosy cases of about 75,394 of 53.64% of the world’s Leprosy cases, he said.
The top 3 leprosy States in India are Maharastra – 16,090, Bihar – 8207, Chhattisgarh – 7422 while the top 3 NE States are Assam – 719, Nagaland – 31, Tripura – 18.
Recalling that Nagaland was the first State to achieve WHO target of ‘Elimination Status’ (1 case in 10,000 populations) in 1998, he said as of date Nagaland has 31 cases out of which 90% are from Dimapur with 80% being non-Naga migrant workers i.e. 25 non-Naga and 6 Nagas.
Principal Advisor (NCDC) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Anil Kumar said that several initiatives have been taken under the Leprosy Eradication campaigns in the country, which is considered as the best in programme in the world.
He also said that despite the prevalence of more than 50% of the world’s leprosy cases in India, the disability percentage of leprosy patients is very less indicative of having the best surveillance as cases are detected early.
Now India is at a stage to take up the final fight against Leprosy and achieve zero transmission of Leprosy cases, he said.
CMO (NFSG), Central Leprosy Division (CLD), MoFHW Dr. Lily Gangmei said that the objective of the meeting is to share insights and activities carried out by the CLD and to review the challenges and NLEP progress in the 8 NE states while also building the capacities of the State Level and district level officers on Leprosy eradication, National Strategic Plan (NSP) and Nikusth 2.0.
ILEP India Co-ordinator (GLRA India) Dr. Srilekha Penna, National Professional Officer (leprosy), WHO India, Dr. Rashmi Shukla and Deputy Director General (Leprosy), CLD, MoHFW, Dr. Sudarsan Mandal also delivered short speeches.
Doctors and representatives of the NLEP from all the Northeastern States are attending the meeting and training programme.
(Page News Service)