Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia announced on 24 January 2013 that leprosy was eliminated from the state as public health problem, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. There was a huge decline in the rate of this disease. The rate declined from 4.5 cases per 10000 population in 2001 to 0.8 cases per 10000 population in 2013.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, leprosy is said to be eliminated as the public health problem when its number of patients drop down below 1 case per 10000 population.
In Delhi, around 1340 patients are receiving leprosy treatment from the healthcare institutions. 1602 patients from different states as well as country such as Nepal seek leprosy treatment in various hospitals of Delhi. Leprosy patients travel to Delhi because of the multi-drug therapy that is effective against the mycobacterium leprae.
Leprosy is caused because of the bacteria mycobacterium leprae. It affects primarily skin and the nerves. The symptoms of leprosy appear gradually and may also take 2-5 years of time to be evident.
The Government of Delhi decided to increase financial help for the leprosy patients undergoing surgery. Apart from this, Delhi Health Minister inaugurated the reconstructive surgery facility at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital in west Delhi for correcting foot-drop and claw-hand.