A total of 264 new leprosy patients have been identified from across the island during the period from the beginning of this year, according to the Anti-Leprosy Campaign (ALC).

The Director of the ALC, Dr. Nirupa Pallewatte stated that of the new patients identified, 24 are children below the age of 15 years.

She further stated that in 2023, a total of 1,580 leprosy patients were reported and that the majority of them (1520) are newly identified patients. Meanwhile, of those 1,580 patients, 180 are below the age of 15, which is 12% of the patients. 

“In the first quarter of 2024, we identified 274 patients. 264 of them are newly identified patients. 21 out of 274, which means about 8%, are children under the age of 15 years. They cannot spread the disease. Also, this year, we have identified about 8% of patients who have become disabled,” Dr. Pallewatte said.