The number of leprosy patients in Gujarat has increased by 17% during the last couple of years. Compared to the 7,500-odd patients in 2011-12,there were over 9,000 persons affected by the disease in the state during the 2012-13 fiscal,stated the health minister in a written reply to a unstarred question posed by Congress MLA Tejashree Patel.
While the districts of south Gujarat like Surat (1,339),Vadodara (1,146) and Valsad (1,009) have the maximum number of leprosy patients,the highest percentage increase in patients was seen in the predominantly tribal district of the Dangs where the number of patients more than doubled from 143 in 2011-12 to 327 patients in 2012-13.
Similar was the case in adjoining district of Tapi where the numbers swelled to 786 in 2012-13 compared to 493 patients a year ago.
The number of such patients have been on a steady rise in the state since 2010-11,the figures provided by the state government reveal.
The administration also provides a monthly assistance of Rs 800 to these patients. This aid is continued till they are cured,the reply added.