LEPROSY Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     25th January 2024        

Context: The Union Health Ministry has decided to implement a new treatment regimen for leprosy aimed at stopping its transmission at the sub-national level by 2027, three years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals.


  • About: It is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. 
  • Known as: Hansen’s disease
  • Affects: Skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy is known to occur at all ages ranging from early childhood to old age. 
  • Transmitted: Via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contact with untreated cases.
  • Symptoms: Discoloured patches of skin, Growths (nodules) on the skin, Thick, stiff or dry skin, Painless ulcers on the soles of feet.
  • Treatment: Hansen’s disease is treated with a combination of antibiotics.
  • World Leprosy Day: It is observed on the last Sunday of January each year.

National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP)

  • About: It is a centrally sponsored Health Scheme under the National Health Mission of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Launched: 1955.
  • Vision: “Leprosy-free India”.
  • Achievement: India has achieved the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem as per WHO criteria of less than 1 case per 10,000 population at the National level in 2005. However, there are few districts within States where leprosy is still endemic. 

SPARSH: Launched in 2017, it is a Leprosy Awareness Campaign to promote awareness and address the issues of stigma and discrimination.