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Original Article

Natl J Community Med. 2019; 10(1): 45-49

Community Perception on Leprosy in the Islands

Jahnavi G, Shivani Rao, Pandurang V Thatkar, Ajay Raj Sethuraman, Lena Charlette Stephen Julius, Bhanu Pratap S Gaur.

"Background: Leprosy is still a public health problem in India. The study was conducted to assess knowledge, attitude and belief about leprosy and the perceived stigma against leprosy patients in community.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried in Andaman and Nicobar Islands among 533 people selected by systematic random sampling in January 2017 using a pre tested structured questionnaire.
Results: Community perception on leprosy was analyzed on 533 respondents which included 331 females (62.10%) and 202 males (37.71%). About 85.40% had heard about leprosy, 69.50% were aware about hypo pigmented patches and 32.50% knew that it spreads by close contact. Around one third were aware that leprosy is curable, free treatment available and may result in deformity if left untreated. 65.90 % didn't want to invite leprosy patient to their social gathering and 12.10% respondents thought that leprosy patient shouldn't be given same respect as others.
Conclusion: Level of knowledge of leprosy is insufficient, therefore health education, frequent surveys, case detection along with regular and complete treatment play a crucial role for reducing the burden of this disease."

Key words: Leprosy, Awareness, Andaman, KAP

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