The health department will begin a campaign in the city next month to detect leprosy cases. Health officials said the campaign is aimed at getting the fresh prevalence rate of leprosy in the city. Last year, Chandigarh had figured in the list of 118 districts of the country with high endemicity of leprosy cases. This year, the campaign will be done country-wide on the direction of the Union health ministry.
“The survey will start next month and we will cover the areas including urban slum and rural areas of the city,” Dr Simrat Kaur, state leprosy officer, Chandigarh told Chandigarh Newsline. According to the UT health director Dr Rakesh Kashyap, the survey is being conducted according to the directions of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of the Union health ministry. The health officials said the survey is a part of the plan to eradicate the disease from the country.
Last year, those districts which included in the high endemicty list had the prevalence rate of 1 case per 10,000 population or more. The Chandigarh’s prevalence rate was found to be 1.12. In Chandigarh, last year 852 suspected leprosy cases were detected initially. Only 10 cases were, however, confirmed later.
Doctors said leprosy spreads through prolonged or repeated contact with an untreated patient. It has two types paucibacillary (PB) leprosy and six multibacillary (MB). MB is the one which causes infection to other, while as PB is less infectious. Symptoms can appear between 2 and 20 years after a person gets infected.
The Chandigarh health officials believe that migratory population, which keeps traveling from one place to another and takes along the disease, is the biggest challenge as the city has a lot of migratory population. According to the health officials, at four centres — Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Government Multi Specialty Hospital in Sector 16, Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 and Manimajra civil hospital — free medication is provided to leprosy patients.
City records 15 new cases of dengue
The city on Wednesday recorded fresh 15 cases of dengue, health officials said. The total number of cases in the city has now reached 675. Dengue has been increasing in the city for the past two months. No death has been reported so far.
Anti-malaria officer Dr Gaurav Aggarwal said fresh 15 cases were reported from different areas of the city. “The department is taking all measures to create awareness among people so that they could prevent dengue cases. As per the health records, 1,254 dengue cases were reported in 2016, while as in 2015, the number of cases reported was 966,” he said. Not only dengue, there are cases of swine flu in the city as well. Six swine flu deaths have been reported in the city so far. No fresh swine flu has been reported in the city on Wednesday, health officials said.