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1.  Leprosy - evolution of the path to eradication 
Leprosy is among the world's oldest and most dreaded diseases and it has been synonymous with stigma and discrimination due to the hideous deformities it produced, mystery around its aetiology and transmission and lack of any effective remedy till recently. Leprosy control started with the use of chaulmoogra oil and for the last three decades, multi drug therapy (MDT) has been our main tool against leprosy. In the last two decades, the reported global prevalence of active leprosy infection has dropped by almost 90 per cent by the combined efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), local governments, health professionals, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), however, a parallel drop in the incidence or new case detection rate (NCDR) has not occurred. From 1994 through 2011, more than 100,000 new cases are being detected annually, of whom maximum case load is from India. There is need for research on tools for early diagnosis, short and effective treatment, and prevention of deformities and disabilities. Evaluating the role of immunotherapy and immunoprophylaxis will also lead us to better understanding of their mode of action. Further molecular analysis of Mycobacterium leprae genome may provide the requisite basis for all this. The current reality is that there is a need to sustain and provide quality leprosy services to all persons through general health services, including good referral system. All these provisions in the integrated health care approach will go a long way in further reducing the stigma. Efforts need to be made to reduce deformity through early detection, self care, physiotherapy and reconstructive surgery and developing sound surveillance systems. With all the remarkable achievements in the fight against leprosy, the stage is now set for the final assault. It is hoped that with the efforts of all the stake holders and strong political will, the disease will be eradicated in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3657879  PMID: 23481049
Deformity; Hansen's disease; leprosy; MDT; multibacillary; Mycobacterium leprae; paucibacillary; reconstructive surgery
2.  Nutritional status of school-age children - A scenario of urban slums in India 
Background
One of the greatest problems for India is undernutrition among children. The country is still struggling with this problem. Malnutrition, the condition resulting from faulty nutrition, weakens the immune system and causes significant growth and cognitive delay. Growth assessment is the measurement that best defines the health and nutritional status of children, while also providing an indirect measurement of well-being for the entire population.
Methods
A cross-sectional study, in which we explored nutritional status in school-age slum children and analyze factors associated with malnutrition with the help of a pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire, anthropometric measurements and clinical examination from December 2010 to April 2011 in urban slums of Bareilly, Uttar-Pradesh (UP), India.
Result
The mean height and weight of boys and girls in the study group was lower than the CDC 2000 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) standards in all age groups. Regarding nutritional status, prevalence of stunting and underweight was highest in age group 11 yrs to 13 yrs whereas prevalence of wasting was highest in age group 5 yrs to 7 yrs. Except refractive errors all illnesses are more common among girls, but this gender difference is statistically significant only for anemia and rickets. The risk of malnutrition was significantly higher among children living in joint families, children whose mother's education was [less than or equal to] 6th standard and children with working mothers.
Conclusions
Most of the school-age slum children in our study had a poor nutritional status. Interventions such as skills-based nutrition education, fortification of food items, effective infection control, training of public healthcare workers and delivery of integrated programs are recommended.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-70-8
PMCID: PMC3436633  PMID: 22958757
Growth monitoring; Malnutrition; School-age Children; Stunting; Wasting
5.  Treatment of leprosy 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7454):1447-1448.
PMCID: PMC428501  PMID: 15205269

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