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Report No. 256

B. Facts and Myths surrounding Leprosy

2.2.1 There are several myths and distortions surrounding Leprosy that are sought to be clarified in this Chapter. Such myths consider Leprosy as a hereditary and infectious disease that is caused due to impure blood and poverty.26 Many also believe that the infection of Leprosy spreads through food and water and is difficult to detect.27 However, all such beliefs are not based on evidence and therefore without merit.28

26. Leprosy: The Facts, Myth and Treatment of Disease (n 9).

27. Leprosy: The Facts, Myth and Treatment of Disease (n 9).

28. Leprosy: The Facts, Myth and Treatment of Disease (n 9).

2.2.2 Leprosy is not a hereditary disease and is not caused due to impure blood or poverty, but due to the causative agent Mycobacterium Leprae as mentioned above. Further, even though Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease, it is neither difficult to diagnose nor hard to treat. The main consideration for an effective Leprosy treatment is early detection and regularity in treatment.

2.2.3 All persons are not susceptible to Leprosy, although insanitary conditions, malnutrition and lack of personal hygiene may increase the chances of getting infected by the Leprosy bacillus or a host of other diseases and infections caused on account of such conditions.29 Further, Leprosy is not a fatal disease, even though on account of the stigma and discrimination, it may cause permanent psychological and social damage to the victims.30

29. Navin Chawla (n 7).

30. Navin Chawla (n 7).



Eliminating Discrimination against Persons affected by Leprosy Back




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