The Telegraph, 29th May, 2008
Bhubaneswar, May 29: The Union government will provide Rs 90.03 lakh in 2008-09 fiscal towards information, education and communication (IEC) for the benefit of leprosy patients
Claiming a significant success in eradication of leprosy from the state, the government has pulled up its sleeve to wipe it out completely.
As on March 31, 2008, state’s leprosy cases on record were 3,283 with a prevalence rate of 0.8 per 10,000 population. Prevalence rate plummeted to one to none in as many as 23 districts.
Remaining seven districts, including Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Angul, Bargarh, Sonepur, Kalahandi and Nuapda, still have a prevalence rate above one. Out of these, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Jharsuguda and Bolangir have fixed December 2008 as the deadline to eradicate cases completely.
The government has identified 685 new patients with leprosy in addition to existing 3,283 patients those are undergoing treatments.
Of the new patients, 255 were women, 146 from Scheduled Tribes, 142 from Scheduled Castes and 58 children.
As of now, Bargarh district has the highest number of leprosy patients with the numbers at 69, while Rayagada district has two patients.
Other districts such as Angul, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Sonepur and Cuttack had 51, 49, 44, 39 and 37 patients respectively.
The national leprosy eradication programme was started in Orissa in 1983 with the introduction of multi-drug therapy (MDT) primarily in Ganjam district.
The objective of the national programme has been to achieve elimination by bringing all known cases under the MDT. The state (in 1983) had 3.2 lakh cases on record. The prevalence rate in the state was 121.4 per 10,000, against the 55 per 10,000 at the national-level. Orissa was hyper-endemic with a prevalence rate varying from 100 to 228.
Over 9 lakh cases were brought under MDT, of which about 8.8 lakh cases were cured.
Disabilities were prevented in 2.2 lakh cases.