Scheme to Help Leprosy Patient

Press release of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to launch new scheme to help leprosy patient


New Schemes to help Leprosy Patients Launched



16:25 IST


In a major stride in National Leprosy Eradication programme, the Union Health Ministry has come out with a new scheme for prevention of disability and medical rehabilitation of leprosy-affected persons. An amount of Rs. 5000 is provided as an incentive to each leprosy affected person of a BPL family for undergoing reconstructive surgery in identified institutions to compensate loss of wages during their stay in hospital. Support will also be provided to the recognized institutions in the form of Rs. 5000 per re-constructive surgery conducted for procurement of supply and material and other ancillary expenditure. Along with the operation, success of the surgery depends on post-operative care including physiotherapy, it is therefore, essential to review the operated cases regularly till six months after the operation. Therefore disbursement of incentive money is to be linked up with the follow up visits. After completion of the surgery and the release from the hospital the patient will get Rs. 3000. On the first follow up visit after one month Rs. 1000 more will be given to the patient and final installment of the incentive will be given at the follow up visit after the third month of operation. Reconstructive surgery is performed for various corrections in hand, foot, eye and nose of the patients.

The number of institutions providing reconstructive surgery services has been increased by including 20 more institutions. In addition 32 NGOs are being supported by International Federation of Anti Leprosy Association (ILEP) for conducting reconstructive surgeries.

Another scheme involving ASHAs has been drawn up to bring out leprosy cases from their villages for diagnosis at primary health centres and follow up cases for treatment completion. ASHA will be given Rs. 100 on a confirmed diagnosis of case brought by them and Rs. 200 on completion of treatment of Paucibacillary (PB) and Rs. 400 for multi-bacillary leprosy case. This is a proven method as similar incentive Scheme in Janani Suraksha Yojana has resulted in a massive rise in institution delivery all over the countries. The guidelines for the incentive scheme include detailed instructions for special sensitization of ASHAs before involving them for sensitive leprosy work have been issued.

The National Leprosy Control Programme was launched by the Government of India in 1955. Multi Drug Therapy came into wide use from 1982 and the National Leprosy Eradication Programme was launched in 1983. Since then, remarkable progress has been achieved in reducing the disease burden. India achieved the goal of elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined as less than 1 case per 10,000 population, at the National level in the month of December 2005 as set by the National Health Policy, 2002.

  • 29 states/UTs have achieved leprosy elimination status
  • 6 States/UTs viz. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Dadra andamp;Nagar Haveli are yet to achieve elimination.
  • With 87,206 leprosy cases on record at end of March 2008, the prevalence rate was 0.74/10,000 population.
  • During 2007-08, a total of 1.38 lakhs new leprosy cases were detected giving Annual New Case Detection Rate of 11.70 per lakh population. All the newly detected cases were put under treatment.
  • During 2008-09 (upto November 2008), 94,794 new leprosy cases were detected and put under treatment.
  • 1353 reconstructive operations were performed for correction of disability among leprosy affected persons during April to November 2008.
  • Out of 85,176 cases discharged during April to November 2008, 78808 cases (92.5%) were released as cured after completing treatment.

However, India is still contributing about 54% of new cases detected globally during the year 2007, and this trend will surely continue for some more years.

Leprosy is a disease with a high degree of stigma attached through centuries. This was mainly because of the fact that there was no cure for the disease till the eighties and also due to disfigurement caused by the disease. Intensive IEC Campaign, with a theme “Towards Leprosy Free India’ is being carried out which aims at further reduction of stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy. Guidelines have been given to all the states to work towards reduction of stigma and discrimination under various programme activities. Further, recently the Human Rights Council had adopted the Resolution 8/13 – “Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members”, as proposed by the Japanese Government. The Ministry of Health andamp; Family Welfare has communicated to all State, intimating this issue and advised for a suitable action by them.

There are certain provisions under laws/acts which are discriminatory in nature against leprosy affected persons. The Ministry of Health andamp; Family Welfare as the nodal agency has discussed the issues with concerned ministries for their consideration and suitable action on various such discriminatory acts/laws like Persons with Disabilities Act(1995), Rehabilitation Council of India Act (1992), Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act (2000), Hindu Marriage Act (1955), Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (1956), Indian Divorce Act (1869), Indian Railway Act (1989), Motor Vehicle Act (1988) etc.

The budget allocation for NLEP for 2008-09 is 45.00 crores. An amount of Rs. 33.40 crores have been utilized till end of December 2008.