ISLAMABAD  – The health experts have urged to create awareness among public on treatment and prevention of leprosy disease to alleviate the suffering of patients.

According to them, it is a high time to encourage the flow of funds, which are imperative to take the cause of leprosy eradication from the country.

They said in Pakistan leprosy control activities are being supported and sponsored by many government and non-governmental organizations for more than 40 years. They said since the first effort to fight leprosy, millions of people have been cured in 82 countries. They added this has been made possible due to the commitment of 14 members of the International Federation of Anti Leprosy Association and World Health Organization (WHO).

They said that leprosy is common in the poorer regions of the world. India is home to nearly 70 percent of the leprosy cases, they added.

They said leprosy is caused by a slow-growing bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose and mouth of untreated patients with severe disease, but is not highly infectious, he added.

They said if left untreated, the disease could cause nerve damage, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy, and permanent disabilities.