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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-42

Pediatric leprosy in a tertiary care hospital in Hubballi – Are we walking on a thin ice?

1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, The Oxford Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Sambhram Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kolar, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Ramachandra Thejaswi
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, The Oxford Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpd.ijpd_1_21

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Context: Leprosy is a major public health problem in developing countries where districts and blocks are reporting high prevalence indicating ongoing transmission. According to the National Leprosy Elimination Program Report of March 2017, there were about 0.13 million cases of leprosy in India, 8.7% of which were children. This study offers insight into the current status of the pediatric leprosy. Aims: The aim of the study is to assess the current scenario and clinical profile and to describe the clinico-epidemiological features of childhood leprosy at our tertiary care hospital in Hubballi. Settings and Design: This study was a 13-year retrospective analysis of hospital data from April 2005 to March 2018. Subjects and Methods: A retrospective, record-based study was carried out on patients diagnosed and registered in urban leprosy center of our tertiary care hospital in Hubballi (April 2005–March 2018). Data regarding demographic details, clinical features, treatment started, and complications were noted and analyzed. Results: Of total 1305 patients, 189 (14.48%) pediatric patients were seen. Age group of 12–18 years constituted 64.02% of patients. Male: female ratio was 1.3:1. Family history was present in 22 (11.6%). 142 had lesions ranging from 1 to 5 (75.13%), among them single lesion was common. Skin lesions are most often seen on the upper limb (52.38%). Borderline tuberculoid leprosy was common (72%). Majority had ulnar nerve involvement. Deformity was present in 21 patients. Majority received multibacillary multidrug therapy. Conclusions: This study showed a prevalence of 15.6% of pediatric leprosy cases. Pediatric leprosy reflects that there are active infectious cases in the community, which needs active intervention including vigilant and rigorous screening for early diagnosis and treatment initiation, which are essential components for leprosy elimination and disability prevention.

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