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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 81  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 257--262

Evaluation of the effect of Block Level Awareness Campaign on performance indicators of National Leprosy Elimination Program in Vadodara district, Gujarat, India


1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of District Nucleus Medical Officer, District Leprosy Office, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lipy K Shukla
'Dev-Darpan', 01, Bombay Housing Society, University Road, Rajkot - 360 005, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.154793

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Background: Leprosy is probably the oldest disease afflicting mankind and a public health problem for centuries. Many cases are hidden or undiagnosed, especially due to social stigma, and neglect of painless patches. Between years 2001 and 2005, during which time active surveillance for detection of leprosy was in practice, a steep fall in the prevalence rate (PR) of leprosy was observed. However, during later years, leprosy program discontinued active surveillance for detection of leprosy cases. Presently block level awareness campaign (BLAC) is a special measure undertaken in a campaign mode during September-November in priority areas, (PR > 1/10000 population), during which information, education and communication (IEC) activities and active surveillance of leprosy cases is done. Aims: To evaluate the effect of Block Level Awareness Campaign on performance indicators of national leprosy elimination program (NLEP) in Vadodara district. Methods: The campaign was carried out for 6 days in 12 talukas of Vadodara district by the district leprosy office, Vadodara. Trained teams of health workers carried out information, education and communication (IEC) activity and active surveillance by undertaking house to house survey in each primary health centre (PHC) area. Suspected cases were identified by the team and confirmed clinically by medical officers in the primary health centre of the corresponding areas. A district nucleus team (DNT) validated these confirmed cases. These data were compared with the district's national leprosy eradication programme (NLEP) data for the same year, 2012 and the previous year, 2011. Results: A total of 1,574,586 persons, comprising 76%of the population surveyed, were screened for leprosy, which resulted in detection of 358 clinically confirmed new cases of leprosy, out of which 225 (62.8%) were paucibacillary (PB) and 133 (37.2%) were multibacillary (MB) leprosy. Of these cases, 14 (4%) had deformities, and 37 (10.3%) were children. Limitations: Only 76% of the population could be covered. Histopathological confirmation of the diagnosis was not undertaken. Because of the large number of health workers invovled, variations in their skills may have influenced the diagnosis of suspected cases. Conclusions: Active surveillance linked to focused block level campaigns can be useful tools to detect new hidden leprosy cases.






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