Government on Tuesday said about 55.5% of new leprosy cases detected world-wide in 2010 were reported in India where 14 states/UTs saw a rise in the number of people afflicted with the disfiguring disease.
Giving this information in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of health and family welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said of the total 2,28,474 new leprosy cases detected world-wide in 2010, India contributed 1,26,800 cases which is about 55.5% of the global disease burden.
Based on the information received from states/UTs, there is an overall decrease in reported leprosy cases in 2010-11 as compared to 2009-10, but 14 states/UTs showed an increase in the fresh cases reported, he said.
On whether it is possible to eradicate leprosy from the country, Azad said it may not be possible in the near future due to its long incubation period which could range from few weeks to 20 years, but the present strategy is to achieve less than one case per 10,000 population.
The health minister said this level was achieved at the national level in 2005 and the ministry is now concentrating on achieving elimination of leprosy at district level during the 12th Plan (2012-17).
He said it would be done through early case detection and case management and capacity building of medical/para-medical staff and community workers, besides improved monitoring and supervision.
The maximum of 25,509 fresh leprosy cases in 2010-11 were reported from Uttar Pradesh, followed by 20,547 cases in Bihar and 15,498 in Maharashtra and another 10,321 from West Bengal.
Among the states which showed an increase in cases were Maharashtra (427), Orissa (261) Madhya Pradesh (116), Assam (76), Jammu & Kashmir (52), Himachal Pradesh (50), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (49) and Kerala (47).
Among states which showed a decrease in cases were Uttar Pradesh (1,964), Andhra Pradesh (1,564), West Bengal (1,132), Jharkhand (897), Bihar (884) and Tamil Nadu (429) among others.