New Leprosy Cases during 2020-21 in India

Though India was declared “leprosy-free” in 2005, it still accounts for around 60 per cent of world’s new leprosy patients.

Key Points

  • According to data of ‘National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP), Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand contributed around 76 per cent of new leprosy
  • World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that, in 2019-20, around 114,451 new leprosy cases were detected in India. It accounted for 80 per cent of the cases in southeast Asian countries.

Annual New Case detection

  • National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) highlights on the basis of reports from all the states and UTs 2020-21 that; total of 65147 new leprosy cases were detected. It took annual new case detection to 4.56 per 100,000 population, as opposed to 114451 cases in 2019-20.
  • As of April 1, 2021, a total of 57,672 leprosy cases are on record.
  • Around 3,753 child cases were recorded, taking child case rate to 5.76 per cent.
  • In India, the number of leprosy cases has witnessed a significant decline.

What is Leprosy?

Leprosy is also called as Hansen’s Disease. It is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection, caused due to bacterium called Mycobacterium Leprae. This bacterium is an acid-fast rod-shaped bacillus. This disease leaves a terrifying image in its wake of mutilation, exclusion and rejection from society. It is one of the oldest diseases in recorded history. It was well recognized in the oldest civilizations of India, China and Egypt thousands of years ago.

Infected areas

Leprosy infects skin, upper respiratory tract, peripheral nerves and Lining of the nose.

How is the disease transmitted?

Leprosy is transmitted by breathing airborne droplets from affected individuals. The disease can be contacted at any age. It usually takes around 3-5 years for symptoms to appear, once the person come in contact with Leprosy causing bacteria.

National Leprosy Eradication Programme

The National Leprosy Eradication Project is supported by World Bank. Its 1st Phase was started from 1993-94. The global elimination was achieved in year 2001, following which National Leprosy Eradication Programme was launched.



1 Comment

  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    February 2, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Leprosy needs to be fought on a war-footing. Leprosy survivors need to be made partners in our Planet-serving mission.


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