In a bid to eradicate leprosy by 2027, UP to comply with health ministry's new 3-drug regimen
A new three-drug regimen for paucibacillary (PB) leprosy is being rolled out by the Uttar Pradesh health department, in sync with directives by the Union Health Ministry.
Early diagnosis and proper treatment are considered crucial for eradicating leprosy. In alignment with the same, the existing two-drug regimen of six months is being replaced with a newer and more effective one with three drugs. The regimen, set to be introduced on April 1, 2025, focusses on reducing the duration of treatment for PB cases. WHO’s recommended treatment regimen revolves around dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine drugs.
More about leprosy and the ministry's plans to eradicate the disease
Currently, the prevalence rate of the disease in Uttar Pradesh is 1 in 20,000 people. In 2023, 161 cases were detected in Lucknow, with some 10,000 new cases in UP.
In a bid to eradicate the disease, the Centre launched National Strategic Plan (NSP) and the Roadmap for Leprosy (2023-27) last year in January. The plans target to achieve zero transmission of leprosy at a sub-national level by 2027, three years ahead of SDG 3.3.
Celebrated recently, the World Leprosy Day, marked on the last Sunday of January, aims at generating awareness around the stigma surrounding the chronic disease of leprosy and spreading information about its nature, cure and more. Two main forms of leprosy exist, including paucibacillary (PB) and multibacillary (MB) leprosy. The PB, considered the less severe form, is a case that exhibits 1-5 skin lesions, limited nerve damage and lower bacterial burden. Thus, the transmission is rare. Symptoms of an MB case, on the other hand, are widespread multiple skin lesions, high bacterial load, increased nerve involvement and a higher risk of transmission.