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ORISSA: Leprosy eradication programme has been badly affected.
Manoj Kumar Das | 04 Apr 2008

If the govt. says that the irradication of leprosy is on full phase, then what is the count. can the govt. count in his hands. if no then it is too many!

Leprosy eradication programme has been badly affected due to the lack of adequate number of field staff in Koraput district, said D. Bramhanandam, the in-charge of the programme in the district. Some 97 new cases are registered during last one year, it is difficult to cater to their needs by reaching out to them in the district, he added.
Laxmi Kirsani, a daily labourer, from Mathalput was recently diagnosed with leprosy. But she has not received any treatment even after the diagnosis, allegedly due to callousness of health officials and absence of proper communication mechanism in the department to deliver the fruits of social welfare schemes to the needy.
After being diagnosed for leprosy at the district head quarter hospital in Koraput, the authorities told her to procure the required medicines from the CHC at Mathalput, free of cost. But back in Mathalput, the officials at the CHC, informed her that there were no such medicines available with them and hence she was told to consult the district office in Koraput. 

After making several rounds to the health officials, seeking help, Laxmi has now preferred to stay back at her place, waiting for the medicines. Meanwhile, the case of Laxmi is not the isolated one in the district, who is suffering from leprosy due the absence of a missionary approach by the department. Many such cases of leprosy are now coming into light in Mathalput region alone.
The leprosy patients are preferring to remain indoors . Further there is no effective mechanism to locate and treat them, sources feared.
Though the prevalence rate of leprosy in the district reached below one in a lakh, the efforts of the State Government and related agencies to eradicate the disease were slowed down after the year 2005.

While many people, who were engaged in the mission of the Government were withdrawn, KORALEP, the only NGO working with the disease had shifted its focus after performing a commendable job in bringing down the prevalence rate of leprosy in the district.
The cases like that of Laxmi and many others in the district would be a matter of serious concern if attention was not given to strengthen the mission to eradicate leprosy completely, the sources fear.