Leprosy eradicated from two eastern districts

Himalayan News Service

Biratnagar, January 28:

The Dutch Leprosy Elimination Programme, citing absence of a single case in the last three years, has claimed that the disease has been eradicated from the districts of Solukhumbu and Okhaldhunga.

Dr Krishna Prasad Dhakal, the DLEP project chief informed this in a press meet here today.

He said the number of lepers has gone down in the seven eastern hilly districts and that the disease would be eradicated soon. However, Dr Dhakal said the districts of Terai were still affected by the problem. Three years ago, there was less than one leprosy patient in 10,000. A figures show that there are three lepers in Ilam and Panchthar, six in Sankhuwasabha and Dhankuta, eight in Terhathum and 10 in Bhojpur. The districts of Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha and Udaypur are the worst affected ones in the Terai districts of eastern region.

There are 385 lepers in Jhapa, 336 in Morang, 194 in Sunsari, 249 in Saptari, 201 in Siraha and 26 in Udaypur. Though a target was set to eradicate leprosy in the country by 2005, there is little success in Terai districts. The DLEP stated that 5.39 in every 10,000 persons were affected with leprosy in the eastern districts of Terai. The DLEP is working towards leprosy eradication in Nepal for the past 24 years.