Leprosy in the post elimination era: a retrospective descriptive study from district Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir

Sonika Sangra, Neha Choudhary, Nazuk Razdan


Background: Leprosy is often referred to as the oldest disease known to man. Leprosy as a social disease has been a major public health problem because of the social stigma and ignorance attached to it. India achieved elimination status for leprosy in 2005; however, the reported prevalence continues to be high in some of the states. Leprosy understood as God’s retribution, has been present since the colonial times. Stigma attached to leprosy is typically a social process, experienced or anticipated, characterized by exclusion, rejection, blame or devaluation that result from experience, perception or reasonable anticipation of an adverse social judgment about a person or group. Objective was to study the demographic and epidemiological features of leprosy in the post-elimination era.

Methods: A retrospective descriptive study was conducted from July 2019 to September 2019. Case records of newly diagnosed leprosy patients were included in the study. The secondary data was collected from district leprosy society Kathua retrospectively for a period of nine and half years (from April 2010 to September 2019). Data was entered in Microsoft excel and Descriptive statistics were analysed.

Results: In our study, 154 total leprosy cases were registered from April 2010 to September 2019. Among the demographic details of leprosy cases, maximum number of cases were in the age group of 31-40 years (38.31%) and childhood leprosy cases were 1.94%. Majority of cases were females as compared to males. Out of 154 cases, 35 cases were outsiders registered in the Kathua district. The treatment completion rate was 100%, no defaulter cases were reported from the past decade.

Conclusions: Leprosy continues to be a communicable disease of concern in the post-elimination era. This alarms the need to strengthen contact screening, early case detection, referral activities and even more focus on the pediatric population to sustain elimination.


Childhood leprosy, Leprosy, Post-elimination

Full Text:



World Health Organization. Global leprosy situation, 2012. Weekly Epidemiological Record= Relevé épidémiologique hebdomadaire. 2012;87(34):317-28.

Dhillon GPS. NLEP- current situation and strategy during the 11th plan period (2007-2012). J Indian Med Assoc. 2006;104:671-72,

Kumar B. World leprosy day 2015: Renewing commitment for a leprosy free world! Indian J Med Res. 2015;141:1-4.

Dogra S, Narang T, Khullar G, Kumar R, Saikia UN. Childhood leprosy through the post leprosy elimination era: a retrospective analysis of epidemiological and clinical characteristics of disease over eleven years from a tertiary care hospital in North India. Lepr Rev. 2014;85(4):296-310.

Obregón D. The anti-leprosy campaign in Colombia: the rhetoric of hygiene and science,1920-1940. Hist Cienc Saude Manguinhos. 2003:10(1):179-207.

Rizvi AA, Sharma YK, Dash K, Tyagi N, Yadava R, Sadana D. An epidemiological and clinic-histopathological study of leprosy in semi-urban area under Pimpari Chinchwad Municipal Corporation in Pune district of Maharashtra. Med J Dr DY Patil Univ. 2015;8(5):609-13.

Rao PN, Suneetha S. Current situation of leprosy in India and its future implications. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2018;9(2):83-9.

Jindal N, Shanker V, Tegta GR, Gupta M, Verma GK. Clinico-epidemiological trends of leprosy in Himachal Pradesh: a five year study. Indian J Lepr. 2009;81(4):173-9.

Mahajan R, Ninama K, Jain V, Bilimoria FE, Lakhani S. A 5 year study of leprosy patients in a tertiary care centre. IP Indian J Clin Exp Dermatol. 2018;4(3):232-6.

Beers SMV, Hatta M, Klatser PR. Patient contact is the major determinant in incident leprosy: implications for future control. Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1999;67(2):119-28.