07 July 2012
Mumbai: The state government on Friday released new norms for management of leprosy–affected patients. The guidelines come at a time when the state is seeing an increase in the number of new leprosy cases.
A drive carried by the health department in 2011–12 showed that a total of 17,892 cases were detected in Maharashtra, of which 331 fell under grade II category. Which means that these patients have developed ‘claw hands’ and ulcers owing to severe nerve damage. "WHO norms say the grade II cases should be less than 1%, but this year the number has risen to 1.8%," said Dr Pradeep Gaikwad, joint director of leprosy division, state directorate of health services.
"WHO’s strategy for the next five years is to reduce leprosy–induced disability by 35%," said Dr Atul Shah, director, Novartis Comprehensive Leprosy Care Association.