Health & Family Welfare Department
Government of Tamil Nadu


1. What is Leprosy ?

Leprosy is a least infectious of all other infectious disease & it primarily affects peripheral nerves & secondarily involves skin & certain other organs.

2. Who discovered Leprosy germ?

Leprosy is also known as ‘’Hansen’s disease” because the causative agent was discovered by Dr.Gerhard Armauer Hansen.

3. What is the name of causative agent?

Causative agent is Myco bacterium Leprae

4. Why Person affected by Leprosy report late?

  • Skin lesions do not hurt due to loss of sensation
  • Lack of awareness about disease & curability
  • Hide the disease for the fear of stigma

5. Is it hereditary Disease?

Leprosy is not a hereditary Disease.

6. What is the mode of Transmission?

Leprosy is an airborne disease. Transmission is through droplet. Entry and exit of the bacillus is through respiratory tract.

7. Who is the source of infection?

Undetected, untreated, advanced multi bacillary person in the community is the source of infection

8. What is the incubation period for Leprosy?

Incubation Period is 2 to 5 Years. It may vary from 6 months to above 20 years also. Reason for Long Incubation Period is Slow Multiplication Time of M.Leprae (i.e. 12 to 14 days)

9. What are the Cardinal Signs of Leprosy?

  • Hypo-pigmented or reddish skin lesion(s) with Definite loss of sensation.
  • A thickened or enlarged Peripheral Nerve with loss of sensation & or weakness of the muscles supplied by the Nerve
  • Presence of Myco bacterium Leprae in slit skin smear

10. How to test the Sensation in Leprosy patches?

Touch the patch with ball point pen for testing sensation and don't use sharp edged tools like needle, knife etc..

11. How to classify the Leprosy?

Leprosy is classified as

    • One to Five Lesions
    • One Nerve Involvement
    • Skin Smear Negative
    • More than Five Lesions / 2 or More Nerve Involvement
    • Skin Infiltration
    • Skin Nodules
    • Skin Smear Positive

12. What is the Treatment for Leprosy?

The only effective method to reduce the burden of Leprosy in the community is to reduce the source of infection through "Multi Drug Therapy" (MDT)

  • For PB Leprosy two drugs are used namely,
    1. Rifampicin
    2. Dapsone
    PB Adult Dose
    (Above 14 yrs)
    PB Child Dose
    (Below 14 yrs)
  • For MB Leprsoy three drugs are used namely,
    1. Rifampicin
    2. Clofazimine
    3. Dapsone
    MB Adult Dose
    (Above 14 yrs)
    MB Child Dose
    (Below 14 yrs)

13. Where we get the treatment for Leprosy?

Treatment and Check up for Leprosy is free of Cost at

  • All Government Primary Health Centres
  • All Government Hospitals
  • All Government Medical College Hospitals
  • All Urban Primary Health Centres
  • All Urban Health Posts

14. Deformities occuring in Leprosy

  1. Deformities in Hand
  2. Trulli
    Claw fingers
    Total Claw
    Wrist Drop
  3. Deformities in Leg
  4. Trulli
    Claw Toes
    Foot Drop
  5. Deformity in Eye
  6. Trulli
  7. Ulcers in Leprosy
  8. Trulli
    Ulcer in Palm
    Ulcer in Foot

15. Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

To reduce the occurance of Leprosy among contacts (Family, Neighbour & Social) of all under Treatment cases by giving Single Dose Rifampicin as Post Exposure Prophylaxis, thereby prevent the transmission of leprosy in the community.

16. Disability Prevention & Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR)

  • Supply of MCR Footwear to Needy Patients
  • Trulli
    MCR Footwear
  • Supply of Self Care Kit to Ulcer Patients
  • Reconstructive Surgery for eligible Patients for cosmetic and functional purpose
  • Rs 8000/- Incentive is given to patients who undergone reconstructive surgery.
  • Rs 1500/- disability pension is given to all patients with 40% disability and above.
  • Aids and Appliances are priovided to needy patients

17. NLEP Aim

  • Further reduction of Leprosy Prevalence in the community
  • A grade II disability rate of < 1 case per million Population
  • Zero disabilities among new child cases
  • Zero discrimination

18. Mile stones of NLEP

  • Start of NLCP with Mono Therapy : 1955
  • Start of NLEP with MDT : 1983
  • MDT coverage completed : 1991
  • Prevalence Rate at the start of MDT : 118 / 10000 pop.
  • Date of Integration : 01.08.97
  • Prevalence Rate at the time of Integration : 7 / 10000 Pop.
  • Elimination Achieved on : March, 2005
  • Prevalence Rate at the time of Elimination : 0.85

19. Key Messages

  • Leprosy Disease is like any other Disease
  • Leprosy Disease is Curable at all stages
  • Early detection prevents Disability due to leprosy
  • Treatment is free of cost at all Govt. Health facilities
  • Disabilities can be prevented
  • No place for segregation

"Accelerating towards Leprosy free India"

Additional Director of Medical & Rural Health Services (Leprosy)

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