Leprosy on decline in J&K
Giving a real tribute to the Mahatma Gandhi who also is known for his anti leprosy campaigns, the Jammu and Kashmir state has managed to bring the leprosy -Kushtrog down, claim official records.
Stressing for the awareness and hygienic surroundings, the concerned officials and doctors said the two components are the keys to tackle this menace which once was considered a social taboo.
As per the official records the registered cases have noticed only 269 cases comprising patients from outside the state are put on treatment as on January 1 this year.
Records also mentioned that the disease is on its declining phase as it was noticed that during the year 2003-04 the total number of cases of leprosy marked a decline from 11.41% per 10,000 in 1987 to 0.63%.
The rate has now further dipped to 0.50% officail records claimed. Concerned officials also claimed that percentage of leprosy among children has also been successfully tackled and has been dropped down from 7.7% to 2.0% only for the year 2003-04.
'The disease being associated with social taboos and stigma led victim and the family to fear ostracisation by their fellow beings and thus people usually hide the disease, Dr Surinder Medical Superintendent Government Leprosy Hospital said.
The health department has launched a comprehensive campaign to generate awareness about the disease especially in the higher reaches of Doda Kishywar, Banihal, and Gool
Gulabgarh and other areas from where the cases are often reported to minimise the risk of vulnerability of common masses to this disease.
Dr Som Dutt Zonal Leprosy Officer appreciated Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Terasa for their missionary and exceptional services to the lepers, said, "this involves a missionary zeal to motivate him/her to come over the stigma and encourage for active social life.'
Replying to a question he said, "Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) comprising Rimpfacin, Clofmazine and Deprocine containing antibiotics giving immunity against the bacteria of the disease and thus in any case of numbness on skin on a spot or extra colouration of skin should be consulted by the experts."
He also stressed for discouraging the quacks/witch doctors/spiritual healers in such skin aliment as that could complex the simple problem, he added.