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New guidelines for National Leprosy Eradication Programme in India

It includes proper management of leprosy cases and the complications developed before, during and after treatment.

The Central Leprosy Division of Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in association with Novartis Comprehensive Leprosy Care Association (NCLCA) and Tata Department of Plastic Surgery, JJ Hospital recently released new guidelines on disability, prevention and medical rehabilitation (DPMR) for National Leprosy Eradication Programme in India.

The new guidelines include proper management of leprosy cases and the complication developed before, during and after treatment. It also envisages involvement of medical colleges as tertiary care centres in order to reach the constructive surgery and physical aids and appliances required for proper management of leprosy related complication. The guidelines will also strengthen referral centres in the district in the filed area.

Dr CM Agarwal, Deputy Director General, Leprosy, Government of India said, “the aim was to modify the existing operational guidelines meant for primary, secondary and tertiary levels and bring out a comprehensive volumes of guidance, for better coordination at all levels. “It was also felt that the guidelines will be very useful to reduce visible disability due to leprosy in the coming years.”

Neela Shah MD, Novartis Comprehensive Leprosy Care Association (NCLCA) said that they have been collaborating with the government of India and state government closely to decrease the disability with innovative disability care modalities.

The DPMR activities are scheduled to be carried out in a three-tier system i.e. the primary level care (first level), secondary level care (second level) and the tertiary level care institutions (third level). The primary level care will start from village or community level to community health centre (chc) level in rural areas, sub-divisional hospitals and urban leprosy centres/dispensaries in the urban areas. DPMR OPD clinic will be established at CHC and sub-divisional hospitals by trained leprosy paramedical worker under the guidance of MO in charge. OPD/clinic will function daily during the normal OPD timing within the premises of health institution. Secondary level care centers include district hospitals and district nucleus team. At some places secondary level care is available in the NGO supported leprosy units. The tertiary level refers to few centers of excellence where complicated cases can be referred from primary or secondary level. Besides, tertiary care for management of deformities is available at medical colleges and RCS centers recognised by Government of India.

National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is implemented with major objectives of reducing the disease burden, preventing disabilities and to improve awareness about leprosy in the country through general healthcare system. The aim is to decrease the visible disabilities to less than 1 per 10,000,00 population in the community in next five years.

EH News Bureau

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