Leprosy Mailing List – December 26, 2017
Ref.: (LML) Facts in leprosy
From: Ajit P, Mumbai, India
For any infectious disease the outcome depends on the interaction between the host, pathogen, and the environment. For a large part the whole focus of modern medicine has been the pathogen, creating new and effective drugs, etc. Vaccination involves both the host and the pathogen. It strengthens the host. Environment is very important too. Cleanliness of surrounding, sanitation, hygiene, taking care of overcrowding are super important measures. The West "closed the book on infectious diseases" for a large part before these super drugs were discovered. Thanks to improved sanitation and public hygiene. In leprosy control, the earlier we realise that drugs can cure the disease in the individual but for eradication we need other measures like focus on public Dani cleanliness, etc.
In India, honourable prime minister Narendra Modi has since last three years started a national cleanliness drive called "swacch Bharat abhiyan" (clean India campaign).
Among other things it involves tremendous focus on ending open defecation by building large number of toilets and the govt is quite sincerely implementing these measures. This effort at improving the "environment" is absolutely awesome and after some time will yield rich dividends in infectious disease control.
WHO and leprosy control organisations should actively support such measures. All physicians when caring for patients in rural areas or poor socioeconomic class should ask openly if the patient has access to toilets and if not tell them of govt schemes which help communities build toilets. As dermatologists caring for leprosy it is our duty to sensitise our patients of public and environmental cleanliness.
Apart from this honourable prime minister Narendra Modi has also specifically taken up leprosy in pragati ie proactive governance timely implementation platform and undertaken door to door survey which has yielded super results.
Dermatologist Bandra West Mumbai
LML - S Deepak, B Naafs, S Noto and P Schreuder
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