Every year on the final Sunday of January, World Leprosy Day is marked around the world to promote awareness about leprosy and to let people know that the disease is now easily cured. Unfortunately, many individuals around the world continue to be affected by this condition due to a lack of basic medical care and the disease’s stigma.
Leprosy affects the nerve system, causing numbness in exposed areas of the body such as the hands, feet, and face. The condition was nicknamed Hansen’s disease after the scientist Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who discovered in 1873 that the sickness is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It can take many years for leprosy symptoms to show after infection.
Ziqitza – What is leprosy?
The bacterium Mycobacterium leprae causes leprosy, which is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection. The nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract are the most commonly affected. Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease.
Skin sores, nerve degeneration, and muscle weakness are all symptoms of leprosy. It can result in severe disfigurement and substantial impairment if not treated. Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases that has been documented. Around 600 B.C., the first documented reference to leprosy was discovered.
Many countries, especially those with tropical or subtropical climates, have leprosy. In India, it’s particularly very frequent.
Ziqitza – What are the symptoms of leprosy?
The following are the most common leprosy symptoms:
- muscle wasting
- Hands, arms, feet, and legs are numb
- lesions on the skin
The skin lesions cause a loss of touch, warmth, or painful feeling. Even after several weeks, they have not healed. They’re paler than your typical skin tone, or they’re irritated and inflamed.
Leprosy is diagnosed primarily through clinical signs and symptoms. After a period of training, every health practitioner should be able to detect the indicators. In practice, patients with such disorders routinely present themselves to the health centre as soon as the symptoms become apparent. Only in a few rare cases is it necessary to utilise laboratory tests to confirm a leprosy diagnosis.
If a person exhibits one of the following cardinal indications in an endemic area, they should be considered to have leprosy:
- Leprosy-related skin damage and sensory loss, with or without thicker nerves.
- Skin wounds, whether single or many, are usually lighter in colour than healthy skin. The scars can appear reddish or copper-colored at times.
- Smears of skin that are positive.
Leprosy Treatment and Cost in India
The treatment for leprosy is a multidrug regimen that lasts between six and twelve months. Because treating leprosy with just one antileprosy medicine can result in drug resistance to that agent, leprosy is best treated with a mix of drugs known as multidrug therapy. The pharmaceutical combination utilised in MDT is determined by the disease classification. The most important antileprosy drug, rifampicin, is used to treat both kinds of leprosy.
Multidrug therapy (MDT) was initially prescribed by a WHO Expert Committee in 1984 and has been the standard treatment for leprosy since 1995. WHO has provided MDT to all endemic countries at no cost. Doctors and health practitioners prescribe a combination of rifampicin, dapsone, and clofazimine to treat multibacillary leprosy. Leprosy treatment in India can cost up to Rs. 27,000, which includes thorough care for the patient.
World Leprosy Day is celebrated on January 30, in India on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Saving a life is more rewarding experience a person can undergo in his/her lifetime”
People with leprosy can and should live better lives instead of being shunned, discriminated against, and denied basic human rights, and our purpose should be to ensure that they do.
About Ziqitza HealthCare Limited
With over 42 million Indians served, Ziqitza Limited Rajasthan is a well-known provider of emergency healthcare services in India. Around 2.5 lakh Covid patients used Ziqitza ambulance services in the previous year. Ziqitza Rajasthan received the Times Social Impact Award and is ranked #34 in the Global Real Impact Awards. We’re all aware of the status of our roads, as well as the numerous accidents that occur on a daily basis.
The 108 ambulances of Ziqitza Healthcare (ZHL Rajasthan), Asia’s largest private emergency medical service provider, have assisted patients from Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Sikkim. The 108 Ambulance crew can provide free, high-quality care to residents of these states.