21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 – Leprosy Cured persons
As part of series on the 21 disabilities included under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016, today we talk about Leprosy Cured persons.
These are the people who have received treatment for Leprosy and are cured but have disability due to the disease.
Leprosy is also called the Hansen’s disease- HD. It is a infection that is caused by bacteria called bacterium Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis.
The disease is long term and can affect the person for years and sometimes even without symptoms. It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose.
Leprosy is spread through contact with the infected person via cough or fluid from the nose of an infected person. Leprosy occurs more commonly among people who are living in poverty.
Leprosy can affect people of all ages.
Despite the condition being curable, there is lot of stigma and shame attached to it in our society. People tend to hide their symptoms for fear of being treated with disdain. In most cases this worsens the infection and the person fails to get treatment in time. This results in severe health complications and disability.
Leprosy cured were covered under the nineteen ninety five Act itself. It has continued in the RPWD Act also. But the fact remains that their conditions continue to remain the same. Stigma plays a major role in this. Apart from treatment measures at rehabilitation are inadequate. Murli Dharan, National Leprosy Organisation
Symptoms of Leprosy
The first and most noticeable sign of leprosy is often the development of pale or pinkish patches of skin. These affected areas on the skin may be insensitive to temperature or pain. Meaning that a person may not feel any pain on these particular areas of the skin.
A person may suffer from tissue loss, causing fingers and toes to become shortened and deformed. This occurs due to granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes.
If the treatment is not done in time the infection can cause severe nerve damage that can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.
Treatment for Leprosy
The disease is treatable and can be cured through a treatment known as multidrug therapy. People can go back to leading an active life with treatment.