Thursday April 26, 2018

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Can Prevent Disability from Leprosy

WHO is calling for laws discriminating against people with leprosy to be abolished

0
//
27
WHO is taking initiatives to eradicate Leprosy and its harmful effects. VOA
WHO is taking initiatives to eradicate Leprosy and its harmful effects. VOA
Republish
Reprint
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious impacts of Leprosy

To mark World Leprosy Day, the World Health Organization is calling for the eradication of this ancient disfiguring disease by combating the stigma and discrimination that discourages people from seeking the help they need.

World Health Organisation spreads awareness about Leprosy. Wikimedia Commons
World Health Organisation spreads awareness about Leprosy. Wikimedia Commons

Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease with a slow incubation period of about five years. In some cases, symptoms may occur within one year, but can take as long as 20 years to appear.

Leprosy was eliminated globally as a public health problem in 2000, but the disease persists in individuals and communities. WHO spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, tells VOA this is unacceptable, as an effective treatment exists that can fully cure people of leprosy.

Also Read: PM Modi calls for collective effort for complete elimination of Leprosy

Leprosy can cause severe damage to body parts leading to disabilities. VOA
Leprosy can cause severe damage to body parts leading to disabilities. VOA

“Since ’95, WHO has provided this multi-drug therapy free of cost to all leprosy patients in the world,” he said. “In 2016, WHO launched global leprosy strategy, 2016-2020, accelerating toward a leprosy-free world. This is basically to revamp the efforts for leprosy control. The strategy focuses on avoiding disabilities, especially among children.”

This year’s World Leprosy Day focuses on preventing disabilities in children. WHO reports children account for nearly nine percent of all new cases of leprosy, including almost seven percent of those with visible deformities.

WHO is also trying to eradicate the discrimination people with Leprosy face. VOA
WHO is also trying to eradicate the discrimination people with Leprosy face. VOA

The U.N. health agency notes early diagnosis and early treatment can prevent disability. It says disabilities do not occur overnight, but happen after a prolonged period of undiagnosed and untreated disease.

Also Read: WHO calls for focused efforts to eradicate tropical diseases

Unfortunately, it notes many people do not seek help until it is too late and deformities already have appeared. This is because of the stigma and discrimination associated with leprosy.

WHO is calling for laws discriminating against people with leprosy to be abolished and replaced with policies promoting inclusion of such people within society. VOA

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Treatment for lower back pain poor, harmful globally: Lancet

Current treatments including opioids, injections and surgery to treat lower back pain -- the leading cause of disability globally

0
//
33
treatment to back pain may be harmful locally. IANS

Current treatments including opioids, injections and surgery to treat lower back pain — the leading cause of disability globally — are useless, unnecessary and harmful, finds a series of studies in The Lancet. Globally, lower back pain affects more than 540 million people and the condition has doubled in the last 25 years.

The prevalence of the condition is expected to continue to increase with an ageing and increasingly obese population. Medical care with inappropriately high use of imaging, rest, opioids, spinal injections, and surgery is making the problem worse in both developed and developing countries, the findings showed.

desk job
Sitting on your work-desk for extended hours may be the reason for the shooting pain in your back and body. Pixabay

“The burden from low back pain has reached a tipping point where the condition is growing rapidly, is poorly understood and is being mismanaged medically — at cost both to the patient and to the healthcare system,” said Rachelle Buchbinder, Professor at the Monash University in Melbourne.

“Low-and middle-income countries are already emulating the low-value care that is endemic in high-income countries. “Across the globe (there is) inappropriately high use of imaging, rest, opioids, spinal injections and surgery. Doing more of the same will not reduce low back pain disability nor its long term consequences,” Buchbinder said.

People with physically demanding jobs, physical and mental comorbidities, smokers, and obese individuals are at greatest risk of reporting low back pain.

Also Read: Lower Back pain reduced by muscle exercise

The researchers call for a coordinated international leadership to drive transformational change across health and social services and occupational settings to stop fragmented and outdated models of care. They also call for avoidance of the harmful and useless medical treatments through the adoption of a similar framework to drug regulation.

Public health campaigns need to address the widespread population and health professional misconceptions about the causes and prognosis of low back pain and the effectiveness of different treatments. IANS