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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-11

Assessment of hidden leprosy cases in North Karnataka by leprosy case detection campaign – A mixed-method study

Department of Community Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepti M Kadeangadi
Department of Community Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_41_21

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BACKGROUND: Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease, caused by Mycobacterium Leprae. India and Indonesia contributed 92% of the South-East Asia Region's caseload. AIM: The aim of this study is to identify leprosy cases in the general population by active surveillance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: As a part of the leprosy survey, the teams comprised healthcare workers and volunteers who performed house-to-house survey and examined all the household members to identify any suspects with hypopigmented and hypoanesthetic patches. The suspects were examined by the medical officer. Clinically suspected leprosy patients were then referred to the district hospital for laboratory confirmation. RESULTS: Of the 123 screened individuals, 62.5% of the suspects were aware of the presence of skin lesions (hypopigmented patch), 45.8% of them noticed the presence of patch or patches 3 months before this survey. Six of 123 were clinical suspects of leprosy, 83.3% were aware of the availability of treatment for leprosy in the primary health center. Only three among the six knew that leprosy is completely curable. All six had social stigma about leprosy. CONCLUSION: Despite many awareness campaigns on leprosy, social stigma on leprosy is still prevalent. Healthcare workers need to educate the general population about the modes of spread, availability of the treatment, and myths/false beliefs on leprosy.

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