| REVIEW ARTICLE
|Year : 2003 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 369--374
Disability prevention and management in leprosy: A field experience
R Ganapati, VV Pai, S Kingsley
Bombay Leprosy Project, Sion Chunabhatti, Mumbai - 400 022, India
Bombay Leprosy Project has conducted operational research into cost effective ways of using therapeutic management for prevention of disabilities (POD). The goal of achieving this are broadly divided as 1) prevention of impairments and disabilities [POID] and 2) prevention of worsening of disabilities [POWD]. About 33-56% of newly registered leprosy patients already have clinically detectable nerve function impairment [NFI], often no longer amenable to MDT. An analysis of 892 leprosy cases treated with WHO-MDT stresses the need to focus attention on leprosy patients having > 5 skin lesions and multiple nerve thickening.
Assessment of 454 disabled leprosy patients after 4 years indicated that the compliance for the services offered was good and it helped to improve the disability status in more than 50% of patients. In terms of effectiveness of the services, it was found to be effective in preventing worsening of deformities in hands and healing of trophic ulcers in feet. The methodology adopted has also helped us to develop an operational research model about the necessity to systematize the assistance and support to be given if the services can be routed through a public health facility. Because of the large numbers of leprosy patients with disability living in this region and the limited resources available, the services have to be targeted towards those who are most in need. The major advantage of such community based program is an attempt to eliminate the social stigma in the patients' families and the education of the community.
Bombay Leprosy Project, Sion Chunabhatti, Mumbai - 400 022
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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