National Leprosy Eradication Programme
The National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) was launched in the year 1954 – 55 with the sole aim of detecting all cases of Leprosy and to put them on DapsoneMonotherapy to make them non-infectiousso that spread to other people can be prevented.
During the treatment with T.DapsoneMonotherapy, patients started developing resistance to Dapsone. Through the continuous effects by the WHO, MDT (Multi Drug Therapy) was introduced in the year 1983 by the addition of two new drugs namely, Rifampicin and Clofozamine. The Programme was Re-Name as National Leprosy Eradication Programme(NLEP). The prevalence rate (PR) which was as high as 118/10,000 population, was brought down to 0.38/10,000 population as on March-2015
Tamil Nadu achieved the elimination status of 1 or <1 case/10,000 population in the year 2005 ahead of the targeted year.
Tamil Nadu is the first State to integrate the Leprosy Services with the Primary Health Centers in the year September 1997. Since thennew case detection, Treatment and discharge is carried out in all PHC’s/GH’s/Medical College’s/ Recognized NGO’s as per the NLEP guidelines.
As on today (2015) Leprosy burden has been reduced to a very great extent. To further reduce the burden of Leprosy and to address the backlog of Deformity cases, DPMR-Services (Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation- Services) have been strengthened. As per this new initiative all the PHC/G.H/Medical Colleges/NGO’s are trained for DPMR activities like Neuritis, Reactions, Loss of Sensation in the hands, feet and eye and loss of Muscle power in the hands, feet and eyes. These patients are admitted and counseled for care of Hands, Feet and Eyes, complication are managed, ulcers are healed and Re-Constructive Surgeries (RCS) are done on deformed hands, feet and eyes.
Today, through the integrated public health services new cases are detected through voluntary reporting of cases by increasing the awareness among the people about the early signs of leprosy. Also, slum surveys, school surveys, contact surveys, high endemic surveys and IEC programs are carried out.
Patients with complications are admitted for the treatment of reactions, neuritis and trophic ulcers. Patients with correctable deformities are selected for Re-constructive Surgeries (RCS).