Observing a significant increase in leprosy cases, a total of 1,550 leprosy cases were logged in 2023 with 173 cases being reported among school children.

According to the Anti-Leprosy Campaign, the majority of cases have been recorded from the Colombo District with 315 cases while 168 and 151 cases have been reported from the Gampaha and Kalutara districts respectively.

In light of the uptick in cases among school children, a nationwide programme was initiated at the school level to detect leprosy infections.

The Anti-Leprosy Campaign further states that there are two types of leprosy spreading in the country — communicable and non-communicable. Unfortunately, of the cases detected, 60% are classified as communicable, indicating a potential higher risk of transmission.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 95% of humans are immune to the bacteria causing leprosy.

As the number of leprosy cases continues to rise, health officials are working to assess and manage the situation, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to address both communicable and non-communicable forms of the disease.

-daily mirror