Study on disability limitation, rehabilitation and social needs of persons affected by leprosy in Kurnool division of Kurnool district

Visweswara Rao Guthi, A. Sreedevi



Background: Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It affects mainly the peripheral nerves. There is very little data on the types of problems faced by people with leprosy-related disabilities (PLD) and the resulting needs. So this study made an attempt to study the disability limitation, rehabilitation needs of persons affected by leprosy and to assess their dehabilitation status.

Materials and Methods: This is a community based cross–sectional study conducted in Kurnool district. There were 296 registered persons affected by leprosy between May 2012 to October 2013 out of which 276 registered persons affected by leprosy were available for the study. Information collected was to assess the disability limitation, rehabilitation needs, social needs and to assess their dehabilitation status of the registered cases.

Results: This study shown that out of 276 patients affected by leprosy, 65/276 (23.56%) of the study subjects had disabilities. Out of which 9.06 % had only Grade 1 and 14.50% had Grade 2 disability. 65 (100%) of the subjects having deformity needed skin care, 14 (21.53%) needed wound care, 31 (47.69%) needed joint care, 7 (10.76%) needed swelling care, 10 (15.38%) needed nerve care and 2 (3.07%) needed eye care. 15/254 (5.90%) suffered from high level of dehabilitation and 43/254 (16.93%) suffered from medium level of dehabilitation.

Conclusions: Knowledge and practice among those needing self care practices were grossly deficient. The general health staff had not informed in most circumstances to persons affected by leprosy about self care practices in leprosy.High level of dehabilitation in the study population was present only in patients having visible deformity.


Leprosy, Disabilty limitation, Rehabilitation, Dehabilitation, Social needs, Self care

Full Text:



K Park. Park’s Text book of preventive and social medicine. 22nd edition. Jabalpur India: Banarsidas Bhanot Publishers; 2013:287.

World Health Organization. Weekly Epidemiological Record, No. 36. 2014;89:389-400.

Central Leprosy Division, Directorate General of Health Services, NLEP-Progress Report for the year 2013-14, pdf. Accessed on 28 October 2014.

Central Leprosy Division, DGHS, New Delhi. National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) Training Manual for Medical Officer, 2013:22-24. Accessed on 10 October 2013.

Anandaraj H. Measurement of Dehabilitation in patients for Leprosy- A scale” Indian J Leprosy. 1995;67-2:153-60.

Wilder-Smith EP, Van Brakel WH. Nerve damage in leprosy and its management. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2008;4:656-63.

Van Brakel WH, Officer A. Approaches and tools for measuring disability in low and middle income countries. Lepr Rev. 2008;79:50-64.

Central Leprosy Division, Directorate General of Health Services,New Delhi. NLEP Disability Prevention & Medical Rehabilitation, pdf. Accessed on 10 October 2013.

Srinivasan H. Guidelines for implementing a disability prevention programme in the field. Indian J Leprosy. 1999;71(4):539-612.

Sukumar GM, Shivaraj NS, Dayananda M. Proportion, Pattern and Need Assessment of deformities among registered leprosy affected individuals in Chamrajanagar district. Indian J Community Med. 2010;35(2):347–9.

Kumar A, Girdhar A, Girdhar BK. Risk of developing disability in pre and post Multi drug therapy treatment among Multi bacillary Leprosy: Agra MB cohort study. Br Med J. 2012;2:1-7.

Chatterjee T. Study of certain social correlates in Leprosy Cases. 2001;26(4):189-91.

Sarkar J, Dasgupta A, Dutt D. Disability among new leprosy patients; An institution based study in an endemic district for leprosy in the state of West Bengal, India. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012;78(3):328-34.

Wim H. van Brakel, Sihombing B, Djarir H, Beisek, Kusumawardani L, Yulihane R et al. Disability in people affected by leprosy: the role of impairment, activity, social participation, stigma and discrimination. Glob Health Action. 2012;5:183-94.

Gautham MS, Dayananda M, Gopinath D, Somanna Shivraj N, Riyaz B, Pruthvish S. Community-based needs assessment of Leprosy patients in Chamrajanagar District, Karnataka, India. Lepr Rev. 2011;82:286-95.

Shrivastava AP. Disability Prevention: progress in urban Gwalior. Indian J Leprosy. 2002;74(1):79-80.

Anselmo Alves Lustosa et al. The impact of leprosy on health-related quality of life, Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 2011;44(5):621-6.