Dimapur Accounts For 90% Of Leprosy Cases In Nagaland - Eastern Mirror
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Dimapur accounts for 90% of leprosy cases in Nagaland

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: May 29, 2023 2:49 pm
Nagaland has 31 cases of leprosy out of which 90% are from Dimapur
Dimapur accounts for 90% of leprosy cases in Nagaland
Y Kikheto Sema, Dr. Anil Kumar and others releasing the National Framework for Integration of Mental Health Services at Hotel De Oriental Grand in Kohima, on Monday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Commissioner and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare department, Nagaland, Y Kikheto Sema, on Monday said as of date Nagaland has 31 cases of leprosy out of which 90% are from Dimapur.

Of the total 31 cases, 25 are non-Naga migrant workers and the remaining six Nagas.

Kikheto disclosed this in his address at the two-day regional review meeting of North Eastern States training on National Strategic Plan (NSP) & Roadmap for Leprosy 2023-27 and Nikusth 2.0, held at Hotel De Oriental Grand in Kohima

He said leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to man, believed to have originated either in Africa or Asia and reached Europe through the conquering armies of Alexander the Great. He said earlier leprosy was considered as punishment for sin because it was a chronic and incurable disease until recent times.

Kikheto shared 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 two lakh new cases reported every year.

The health official also pointed out that the Government of India launched National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) in 1954- 55, Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) in 1982 and the National Leprosy Eradication Programme in 1983, and added remarkable progress have been achieved since then.

The official informed that despite efforts, India still has the highest leprosy cases of about 75,394, which accounts for 53.64% of the world’s leprosy cases, followed by Brazil, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique.

The country’s prevalence rate of leprosy in 2021-22 was 0.45 per 10,000 populations as against the world’s prevalence rate of 0.34, he said.

Kikheto also informed that the top three states in India with maximum number of leprosy cases are Maharastra (16,090), Bihar (8207) and Chhattisgarh (7422). “Chhattisgarh and Dadra & Nagar Haveli prevalence is still more than 1 per 10,000 populations despite continuous reduction in prevalence,” he said.

While the top three among NE states are Assam (719), Nagaland (31) and Tripura (18), he said Nagaland was the first state to achieve WHO target of ‘Elimination Status’ (1 case in 10,000 populations) in 1998.

The official maintained that India is making progress and new leprosy cases are declining every year.

The country has pledged “Leprosy Free by 2027,” three years ahead of the SDG, “Malaria Elimination by 2027,” three years ahead of SDG and “TB Free by 2025,” five years ahead of SDG – to make it healthy and  wealthy Nation, he said.

Kikheto further said the government alone cannot achieve but needs the support and coordination of all the stakeholders.

Nagaland can be first Leprosy-free state in the country

Meanwhile, Principal Advisor (NCDC), MoHFW, Government of India, Dr Anil Kumar, in his speech said that by having a good surveillance system, Nagaland can become the first leprosy-free state in the country.

Stating that some districts in the state can be declared as leprosy-free, the official said special focus should be given to Dimapur district as most of the leprosy cases are from the migrating population. Kumar advocated for a strong surveillance system and also setting up a special branch to examine the migrative population as soon as enter the state.

Further, he also stressed on the need for periodic examination of the migrative population for early detection so as to protect the population of the state.

Speeches were also delivered by Dr. Srilekha Penna, ILEP India Coordinator (GLRA India), Dr. Rashmi Shukla, National Professional Officer (Leprosy), WHO India, and Dr. Sudarsan Mandal, Deputy Director General (Leprosy), Central Leprosy Division, MoHFW.

Also read: Nagaland doctors say antenatal care matters

On the occasion, National Framework for Integration of Mental Health Services for Leprosy Patients, Video on Nikusht 2.0 and Leprosy Flipbook (English) and Poster on NLEP were also released.

Earlier, Dr. Lily Ganmei, CMO (NFGS), Central Leprosy Division, in her welcome address highlighted the objectives of the meeting. The event will culminate on May 30.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: May 29, 2023 2:49:53 pm
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