Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 2 February 2014





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Leprosy still high in Western and Eastern Provinces

The number of leprosy patients may have declined dramatically in the past two decades for Sri Lanka to achieve the WHO Elimination target of less than 10,000 cases per population by 1995. However, a few districts still have a higher number of patients than the Elimination target, Anti Leprosy Campaign sources told the Sunday Observer.

The districts cited as having a slight increase in the number of cases over the past three years are Colombo, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Puttalam, Kalutara, Hambantota, Gampaha, Matara and Kurunegala.

"This is because most people still believe that leprosy does not exist and has been eradicated. Hence, they don't recognise the symptoms and delay taking treatment. The delay in early detection and treatment is harmful to the patient and non-infected persons who could contract the disease", the sources said.

There are 2,000-2,200 new cases every year. "Unless those who suspect they have leprosy are treated, it is likely that we would continue to have new leprosy cases every year and we will be unable to eliminate it from the country. Awareness programs are now being held to pass on this message to the public with drugs being distributed and treatment centres set up in all government hospitals island-wide".

"The drugs are free and if continued for the prescribed period, the patient can recover completely within a short time," the sources said.


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