Bhairahawa, June 16
As many as 43 new leprosy cases were detected in Rupandehi this fiscal.
According to District Public Health Office, Rupandehi, though they were planning to bring down the number of leprosy patients, new patients were detected in the district. It means that the district is unlikely to be declared leprosy-free zone.
Leprosy is a contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities.
A total of 107 patients are undergoing treatment in the district at present. A total of 152 leprosy patients were being treated last year, while the number was 165 the previous year. As per the office, 27 places of the district are prone to the disease while 22 places are said to be safe.
Tika Ram Adhikari, TB and leprosy supervisor, said the new patients were found at Bagaha, Basantapur, Chilliya, Hati Farsaticker, Padasari, Madhubani, Masina, Chhipagadh, Dhakdhai among other places. The DPHO has listed Amuwa, Silautiya, Butwal Sub-metropolitan city, Sadi, Suryapura, Sainamaina, Gajedi, Jogada, Majhgav areas as highly prone to the disease.
Leprosy is a curable disease if a patient undergoes regular treatment and consumes full dose of prescribed medicine. The government provides free treatment for the disease. It provides Rs 1,000 as transportation fare for the patients who go for regular check-up. However, scores of patients hesitate to disclose their disease. “Despite availability of health facilities in the local areas, health workers, social activists and health facilities in the localities, scores of people are still deprived of effective health education and health services,” said a staffer at the DPHO.
There are 64 health posts, 11 municipal health centres, two non-government health facilities, five primary health posts, district hospital and zonal hospital providing treatment to leprosy patients in Rupandehi.
A version of this article appears in print on June 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.