Chennai, Aug 20: Government would launch next month the phase II of comprehensive screening for leprosy covering nearly 120 districts in the country, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said today.
In the first phase of the programme covering 50 districts, 65,000 suspected cases were detected, he told a National Awareness Convention on Leprosy here.
About 5,000 of these turned out to be confirmed cases of leprosy and the affected persons were being treated, he said. "Phase-II of the screening initiative would be launched next month across 120 districts in 20 states, including Tamil Nadu," he said.
"A vaccine drive for leprosy would also be implemented as a pilot project in select districts of Bihar and Gujarat," he added.
The Minister in a tweet later said leprosy was "one of the least infectious" diseases. "We must realise the need to provide rehabilitative measures to eliminate the social stigma(attached with leprosy)," he said.