Leprosy on the wane across the province

This year only six new cases were reported to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH)

Our Correspondent July 16, 2021


The number of leprosy patients and cases has been on the decline in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province each passing year.

This is evident from the number of patients in Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) which is the largest health facility of its kind in the province and it houses the lone leprosy ward of K-P too.

This year only six patients have been admitted to the ward so far.

The leprosy ward was established at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in 1982 and so far hundreds of patients have been treated at the ward. The patients also receive free medicines with the help of a German Organisation.

“In the past around 150 to 132 new patients was the average per year but with each passing year the number is going down considerably. In 2020 only ten new patients have been received and this year this has further reduced to just six patients,” said an official of Health Department while talking to The Express Tribune. He said that currently there are only two patients under treatment at the ward.

“Patients are still referred to us regularly from other districts but these are old patients who come to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for medicines or other diseases and some of them are not only suffering physically from leprosy but also have other complications due to this,” he said, adding that most of the patients hail from Swat, Dir Upper, Chitral, Malakanad and Hazara Division.

“We have received patients from Mardan and Sawabi too in small numbers,” he said, adding that K-P has been second on the list as far as the number of lepers is concerned in the country.

Under the Leprosy Control Program (LCP) 11,500 patients have been registered since 1971 in which 9,000 were cured completely.

It is worth mentioning here that Leprosy is a dangerous ancient disease which has affected humanity for thousands of years and it also occurs across the Sub-Continent like the rest of the world. This disease, however, is completely curable thanks to availability of effective antibiotics and according to the experts it is not transmitted easily to other people from the affected persons despite the common beliefs.

In the past lepers were separated under this belief from the rest of the patients in colonies. According to the doctors, timely treatment could completely cure this disease.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2021.


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