What is the National Leprosy Eradication Programme?


National Leprosy Eradication Programme

The National Leprosy Eradication Programme is a centrally sponsored Health Scheme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, of the Indian Government. The Programme is guided by the Deputy Director of Health Services (Leprosy) under the administrative control of the Directorate General Health Services Govt. of India. During the NLEP strategies and plans are formulated centrally, the programme is implemented by the States/UTs. The Programme is also assisted as Partners by the World Health Organization, The International Federation of Anti-leprosy Associations (ILEP) and less of Non-Govt. Organizations.

Govt. of India commenced the National Leprosy Control Programme in 1955 based on Dapsone domiciliary treatment through vertical units implementing survey education and treatment activities. It was only in the 1970s that a definite treatment was identified in the form of Multi-Drug Therapy. The MDT came into vast use from 1982, following the recommendation by the WHO Study Group, Geneva in October 1981. Govt. of India set up a high power committee under the chairmanship of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan in 1981 for dealing with the problem of leprosy. Based on its recommendations the NLEP was established in 1983 with the objective to arrest the disease activity in all the known cases of leprosy.

Strategy – Leprosy Elimination in India

  • Decentralized integrated leprosy services by General Health Care system.
  • Early detection & full treatment of new leprosy cases.
  • Carrying out household contact study in the detection of Multibacillary (MB) & child cases.
  • Early diagnosis & prompt Multi-Drug Therapy, through routine and special efforts
  • The commitment of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in the detection & complete treatment of Leprosy cases for leprosy work
  • Enhancing of Disability Prevention & Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) services.
  • Information, Education & Communication (IEC) activities in the community to enhance self-reporting to Primary Health Centre (PHC) and reduction of stigma.
  • Intensive monitoring and supervision at Primary Health Centre/Community Health Centre.

Four premier Leprosy Institutes are operating under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & F.W., Government of India viz. CLTRI, Chengalpattu, RLTRI, at Aska, Raipur, and Gouripur are committed in research (basic and applied ) in Leprosy and Training of different categories of staff involved for Leprosy elimination. These Institutes also play a vital role in the management of referral patients, providing quality care to chronic ulcer and disabled patients with the help of Minor & Major Reconstructive Surgeries. These Institutes also assist in supervising and providing consultancy services to the State NLEP Units for better programme planning and implementation.

  1. CENTRAL LEPROSY TEACHING & RESEARCH INSTITUTE (CLTRI) CHENGALPATTU (TAMILNADU)
  2. REGIONAL LEPROSY TRAINING & RESEARCH INSTITUTE (RLTRI) RAIPUR (CHHATTISGARH)
  3. REGIONAL LEPROSY TRAINING & RESEARCH INSTITUTE(RLTRI) ASKA (ORISSA)
  4. REGIONAL LEPROSY TRAINING & RESEARCH INSTITUTE RLTRI, GOURIPUR, BANKURA (WEST BENGAL)
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