President Ram Nath Kovind has said that in the fight against Leprosy, India has achieved a lot over the years and successfully accomplished levels of leprosy elimination defined as less than one case per ten thousand population.
Presenting the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu and the Leprosy Mission Trust in New Delhi today, Mr Kovind said, the stigma and prejudice against leprosy have reduced considerably due to constant work of scientists, researchers, organizations and community workers. He said, new cases continue to occur and high-burden pockets of the disease do exist.
The President said, the major challenge in leprosy control activities lies in sustaining the same level of focus and commitment especially in low-resource settings where equity of access is an issue. He stressed the need to intensify the efforts towards early detection of leprosy cases, provide equitable access to appropriate treatment and provide integrated leprosy services in the geographically focused areas.
Mr Kovind further said, more than the medical condition, the social stigma attached to the disease persists and it is a cause for concern. He said, people have to become aware and educated on the disease and its different dimensions and spread that awareness among the communities. The President emphasized the need to empower those who have been discriminated against on account of leprosy through advocacy and information dissemination.
Source: News On Air