About 4000 fresh leprosy cases are being detected every year in Bangladesh and almost eight percent people suffer from leprosy-related disability, a recent estimate shows.
Leprosy & TB Coordinating Committee (LTCC) revealed the data on "World Leprosy Day-2021," said a press release.
National Leprosy Programme (NLP) and LTCC members jointly observing the World Leprosy Day-2021 this year with the slogan "Let's overcome leprosy with joint efforts" (Sommilito Procestay, Kushtoke Kori Joy).
Along with leprosy-related complication and disability, persons affected by leprosy suffer from social stigma, discrimination, and superstitions everywhere which must be removed to make leprosy-free Bangladesh, said health experts.
The Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh (TLMI-B) Programme Support Coordinator Jiptah Boiragee said "To make Bangladesh a leprosy-free nation by 2030, ensuring treatment facilities for persons affected by leprosy in all government hospitals are necessary besides few leprosy-dedicated hospitals."
It is necessary to provide training to government doctors as they can identify new leprosy cases at an early stage, Jiptah added.
TLMI-B AEP Project Manager Masuma Parvin said, "Besides the leprosy elimination activities, it is necessary to raise awareness against leprosy-related social stigma, superstitions and misconceptions in the society."
Leprosy in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has achieved the WHO target of reducing the number of leprosy patients to one in 10,000 population in 1998.
According to information from NLP, 3754 new people were found as affected by leprosy in 2017, and in 2018 the fresh leprosy case was 3729.
In 2019 a total of 3638 people were brought under treatment as they were found as affected by leprosy while 898 people were found affected by leprosy in the first six months of 2020.
In observance of the World Leprosy Day-2021 on Sunday, a standing rally and discussion on leprosy were arranged in the morning on the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) premises in Mohakhali.
Dr Md Shamiul Islam, Director, MBDC, & Line Director-TBL & ASP, DGHS, Mohakhali, inaugurated the rally attended by Dr Md Enamul Haque, Deputy Director, MBDC, & Program Manager, NLP; Dr Md Sheikh Abdullah Hadi, former Program Manager, NLP; Mr Solomon Sumon Halder, Country Director, TLMI-B & Chairman LTCC; Dr Adnan Russel, SMO; Dr Naima Haque, SMO, NLP; including officials, staff of National Leprosy Program (NLP), LTCC partners among others.
Dr Ay Ka Jay Maung, Convenor, LTCC Steering Committee & Country Director Damien Foundation; Dr David Pahan, Country Director, Lepra Bangladesh; Dr Dipok Kumar Biswas, Medical Coordinator, Damien Foundation, Mr Nikhil Chandra Saha, Finance Director, Heed Bangladesh; Mr Thomas Singh, Project Manager Lepra Bangladesh; Mr Albert Sarkar, Project Manager, Salvation Army; Mr Jiptha Boiragee, Program Support Coordinator, TLMI-B; Masuma Parvin, Project Manager, TLMI-B among others were present in the event.