Baniyani, Jan 31 : Leprosy has been detected among those returning from Gulf countries in Jhapa. At least five returnee migrant workers were diagnosed with leprosy in the district from mid-November to mid-December in 2021.
Chief of Nepal Leprosy District Programme Parashuram Pokharel informed that two were detected with leprosy in Buddhashanti rural municipality and one each in Jhapa rural municipality, Damak municipality and Birtamod municipality.
The treatment of those living with leprosy has undergone after diagnosis, he shared. This shows that the returnee migrant workers are also vulnerable to contagious disease, leprosy. “Normally many live together in a room during their stay in foreign countries during employment”, he said, this push to the risk of leprosy.
According to Public Health Inspector at District Health Office, Bishwonath Shrestha, as many as 36 new leprosy-infected were found in the district as of mid-December 2021. Among them are one small boy and a girl child.
The age group 0-14 is taken especially for the elimination of leprosy. But, the detection of leprosy among two children shows the level of risk. The office shared that at least 10 children were diagnosed with leprosy in the district in the last fiscal year.
As per the nature of the disease, some 14 people with leprosy are administered with medicines for six months and 22 with medicines for a year. Even some with severe cases were referred to Leprosy Service Center Lalgadh and Anandabhawan.
Last year only, 21 people diagnosed with leprosy were referred to the centers for extra care and treatment, he informed, adding, “The number of people with leprosy however is on declining trend in the district in the last four years”.
In the fiscal year 2075/76 BS, there were 212 leprosy-infected people while the number was declined to 140 in the fiscal year 2076/77 and 95 in the fiscal year 2077/78 BS. Likewise, some 36 people were diagnosed with leprosy in the district in the last six months of the current fiscal year.