Nepal | May 28, 2020

3,000 new leprosy cases detected in 2017

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, January 28

For the Government of Nepal eradicating leprosy is turning out to be a challenging task as the country sees sharp rise in the number of leprosy patients in the recent years.

In the year 2017 alone, Nepal recorded 3,000 new leprosy patients.

Despite government’s efforts, the number of leprosy patients in the country has been constantly rising for the past two years. As per the data, there were 5,922 leprosy patients in the country in the fiscal 2016-17, while the number stood at 5,641 in the fiscal 2015-16 and 5,477 in the fiscal 2014-15.

A health workers’ team deployed in Kapilvastu diagnosed 70 new patients within a week recently. Lack of awareness, poor personal hygiene and sanitation and low economic status of the people are to blame for the increasing number of leprosy patients.  “Due to lack of awareness of personal hygiene,  skin-related diseases and its mode of transmission, people are still suffering from the disease,” said Mohammad Saud, director at Leprosy Control Division.

Children too have been the victims of the disease. “They are more prone to the disease as they come into contact with people suffering from leprosy in their community more frequently and can not take care of their personal hygiene on their own. However, early treatment can avert disability and deformity,” said Saud.

“In order to help control the number of children suffering from leprosy, we need to organise school and community centric programmes. Leprosy control programmes should be integrated with other health programmes,” said Deputy Director General at the Department of Health Services Chudamani Bhandari.

Reports from 145 countries of World Health Organisation’s six regions show that of the total 216,108 newly diagnosed cases of leprosy in 2016, the number of children was 18,472. It is around nine per cent of leprosy cases reported annually.

The WHO also says national programmes should boost active case-finding, strengthen surveillance, improve contact-tracing and focus more on early detection of leprosy cases among children to meet the target of bringing the number of children suffering from leprosy to zero by 2020.

Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by a slow multiplying bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae.

A version of this article appears in print on January 29, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

US President Donald Trump, Twitter account

Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter on Tuesday for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning that his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers. The move marked a dramatic shift for the social network, Trump Read More...

Darchula Nepali stranded

Indecision prevails on managing migrants mulling return to Nepal

KATHMANDU, MAY 26 The government is yet to take any concrete decision on how to manage quarantine and health facilities, accommodation and visa process for those preparing to return to the country from abroad, including those from major labour destinations. Government officials have made frequ Read More...

More PCR tests necessary for accurate diagnosis

Kathmandu, May 26 A woman, who tested positive for coronavirus infection and was undergoing treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, tested negative twice in the rapid diagnostic test. However, she tested positive for the infection in the polymerase chain reaction test in the National Read More...

Home quarantined pregnant woman dies in Saptari

Rajbiraj, May 26 A pregnant woman staying in home quarantine at Simara Chowk of Kanchanrup Municipality, Saptari, died today. Saptari District Hospital said that the woman aged 24 had died at home at around 7:00am today. “The deceased woman’s throat swab sample was collected and sent to BP Read More...

Deuba renews demand for relief package to journos and media houses

Kathmandu, May 26 Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has once again called on the government to announce relief package for journalists and media houses. Issuing a statement on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of Nepal Press Union today, Deuba expressed concern about scores of jo Read More...

Quarantine facility poses risk of virus spread

Bajura, May 26 Quarantine facility at Malika Higher Secondary School in Bajura headquarters, Martadi, is at high risk of COVDI-19. A total of 93 people, who recently returned from India have been kept in the quarantine facility. They came from red-zone in India. But, they have not undergone Read More...

Bring gender-responsive budget: HoR panel

Kathmandu, May 26 The Women and Social Development Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the federal and provincial governments to bring gender-responsible budget for the fiscal 2020-21 in the wake of adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairperson of the parli Read More...

Govt projects 2.3 per cent economic growth for this fiscal

Per capita income to increase to Rs 126,018 Despite joblessness absolute poverty to decline KATHMANDU, MAY 26 Halt in economic activities as a result of the lockdown that the government has imposed to control the spread of the COVID-19 contagion was expected to hit the country's econom Read More...