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About Leprosy in India (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains paper III)

India’s fight against leprosy — 16 years after being eliminated globally as a public health issue — is far from over. 
The World Health Organization (WHO) asked South-East Asian countries, including India which accounted for 60% per cent of such cases worldwide in 2015, to focus on preventing disabilities in children.

Position of India
India is among the 22 countries considered as having a “high burden for leprosy” along with high transmission by WHO. “

How it spreads
While the mode of transmission of leprosy is not known, the most widely held belief is that the disease was transmitted by contact between those with leprosy and healthy persons. 
More recently, the possibility of transmission by the respiratory route is gaining ground. There are also other possibilities such as transmission through insects which cannot be completely ruled out. 

About World Leprosy Day
World Leprosy Day is observed, on the last Sunday of January since 1954, to effectively combat the disease.



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