1. What is Leprosy?

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It is transmitted from person with untreated leprosy through air.

3. What are the Signs of Leprosy?

  1. Light coloured skin patches
  2. Shiny oily appearance of skin
  3. Numbness in hands/feet

5. What is MDT and how is the treatment?

MDT is combination of two or three drugs depending on severity of disease. Total duration of treatment can be 6 months with two drugs or 12 months with 3 drugs (depends on severity of disease).

7. Is leprosy preventable?

There is no vaccine for leprosy. Early diagnosis and treatment prevents disability.

2. How is stigma attached to leprosy?

It is a disease of public health concern mainly because of its potential to cause disability in a small proportion to those affected and this causes social stigma and discrimination.

4. Can leprosy be cured?

Till the introduction of the drug Dapsone in 1940s there was no treatment for this disease; patients were kept in isolation. In 1955 the government of India launched the National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) with case detection, community education and treatment with Dapsone. This was changed to the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) in 1983, with the introduction of Multidrug Therapy (MDT). More than two decades of experience with MDT has proved that Leprosy is curable.

6. Where can I get the services for leprosy?

Diagnostic and treatment services are available in all government health facilities and NGO leprosy centres.

Treatment for leprosy is provided free of cost at all government health facilities and NGO leprosy centres.

8. Can disability in leprosy be corrected?

Yes. Many disabilities due to leprosy can be corrected by surgery. These facilities are available in selected leprosy centres and services are free of cost.