A total of 16 districts in the country are yet to be free of leprosy. According to information shared at a programme organised to mark the 70th World Leprosy Day here on Friday, the 16 districts are Jhapa, Morang, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Parasi, Rupandehi, Banke, Bardia, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Achham.
The event was hosted by Anandawan Hospital located in Lele of Godavari Municipality-5, Lalitpur, Speaking at the programme, Director of the Leprosy Mission Nepal, Shobhakar Kandel said that two thousand to three thousand new leprosy patients are found every year and stressed that people from all walks of life should work together for a leprosy-free Nepal.
He also lauded residents of Godavari Municipality Ward No. 5 and 6 for allowing the establishment of a leprosy hospital in their locality 66 years ago.
Chief expert of the Department of Health Leprosy Control and Disability Management Unit, Dr. Prashanna Napit, said last year there were patients of leprosy in 11 districts which has increased to 16 districts this year. "Patients of this disease have been seen especially in the Terai district with dense settlements and open borders with India ", he said.
On the occasion, the Mayor of Godavari Gajendra Maharjan said it is necessary to raise public awareness to control leprosy, which can be eradicated.
Deputy Mayor Muna Adhikari said that students could become an important means of spreading public awareness about the disease in society.
Chief of Lalitpur District Public Health Office, Dr. Satish Bista, said that after the coronavirus pandemic, the number of patients with the disease has increased in Lalitpur district as well.
The Anandawan Hospital has been operating since it was established in 1957 with the financial support of the Leprosy Mission International. It is a leprosy specialist hospital run by the Leprosy Mission Nepal since 2005. (RSS)