The Fight Against Leprosy in south Asia
South Asia has around 80% of the world’s leprosy sufferers and the countries leprosy elimination campaign hoped to create widespread awareness about leprosy and the available MDT treatment. However, it has proved challenging to convince the population that the disease can be treated. The first signs of Leprosy is usually a white skin patch. Victims often are so ashamed and embarrassed that they hide their white patch and live in denial until nerve ending are destroyed and it is too late. Leprosy attacks the nerve endings desroying the ability to feel pain which makes the sufferer susceptible to infections. This can lead to the loss of the fingers, hands, toes and feet if they are not properly treated. Leprosy sufferers may face rejection, discrimination and stigma. There is a widespread belief that leprosy is contagious although 95% of humans are naturally immune.
The fight against leprosy will be won or lost in India.