Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR), a member of International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), is supporting National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) of India since 1993...
FAQ’s on Leprosy
Can everyone get leprosy?
No. Have you ever seen everyone, around you, suffering from all the diseases? Are all sneezing & having running nose? Are all suffering from diarrhea and dehydration? Similar is the case of leprosy that everyone doesn’t suffer from leprosy. It indicates that our body responds to different infections differently. This is individuals’ capacity to resist a disease or infection, which is also known as immunity or resistance of the body.
What is body resistance/immunity?
Body resistance/immunity is the ability of the body to fight back the germ and prevent causation of disease. There are cells in our blood specially created for the purpose of fighting the infection. These cells have the capacity and power to recognize, engulf, digest and destroy harmful germs. Because of these cells and the capacities they have, our body is resistant to most of the harmful germs and bacteria, including the germs of leprosy.
What leads to development of disease?
When a germ enters our body, it tries to locate itself in a preferred location to nourish, enjoy and multiply itself. If the multiplication and nourishment is not controlled it causes disease. On the other hand, our body resists the spread of germ and aborts the further growth, multiplication and development of disease. If the body is not able to fight the infection the disease develops.
Why all of us don’t develop all the diseases?
This is the capacity of individual body and their cells to identify and recognize a particular type of harmful bacteria. Different cells of different human beings have high or low capacity to fight a particular disease. E.g. if a capacity to fight common cold is high in a particular person, he’ll not suffer from common cold. On the other hand there are certain individuals, who have low capacity to fight common cold and suffer from common cold easily.
Why everyone is not suffering from leprosy?
This depends on the individual capacity of a person to fight leprosy organisms. Through research it has been found that 95 – 99% of our population is resistant or can fight the leprosy micro organisms if they enter in their body meaning thereby that 1 – 5% of the whole population is prone to develop the disease.
Facts about leprosy
Leprosy is like any other disease caused by a germ known as Mycobacterium leprae. It affects mainly peripheral nerves, skin and other organs of the body and if not treated adequately, leads to disabilities & deformities.
Can I live with a person infected/suffering with leprosy?
Yes, because the disease is mildly infectious. However, it is mandatory that the person affected should take the MDT regularly.
What, if I marry a person affected by leprosy /patient?
Why not? Your married life will be as normal as of any other couple. If the person is treated with required doses of Multi Drug Therapy, (s)he is taken as cured.
Does the children of persons affected by leprosy have the risk of developing the disease?
Leprosy is not hereditary, susceptibility depends on Body resistance/immunity.
Can a leprosy patient be treated at home?
Yes, it is better to treat him/her at home.
Whether the treatment is life long?
No, only 6 or 12 months, depends upon type of disease.
Can leprosy deformity be corrected?
Yes, the deformities can be corrected, after completion of treatment, by reconstructive surgery.
Should a leprosy patient be accepted by the society?
Why not. The disease is least infectious, curable with effective Multi Drug Therapy (MDT). An infectious patient becomes non infectious after three regular doses of MDT. If detected early and treated completely, will not lead to development of disability or deformity.
Can persons affected by leprosy be employed?
Yes, a person affected by leprosy is not a threat to the fellow citizens/colleagues if (s)he is taking or has completed the treatment.
Which are the centers for rehabilitation of persons affected by leprosy ?
There are many centers in India, where besides vocational trainings, economic rehabilitation is also provided
Can the leprosy treated patient with disabilities get the facilities of disabled persons?
Yes, there are provisions, wherein the facilities are provided through Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
What are the rights of persons affected by leprosy , treated or untreated?
All should be considered as a normal citizen having the same rights.
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