projects 2008-2012

Access to leprosy care: a study among leprosy patients and health care providers in rural Panvel tehsil of Maharashtra, India

Principal Investigator Dr. Vanaja P Shetty

Project team Mr. Sachin Atre, Mr. Nilesh Gaikwad, Dr.Riddhi Doshi

Funder Corpus grant of the FMR given by  Jamsetji Tata trust

Duration 2010 (1 year)


Based on the finding from the survey in rural areas of Panvel tehsil that a significant number of adults and children with leprosy remained undetected, the need was felt for inquiry into various issues related to access to leprosy care in this study area as well as patients’ and health care providers’ perceptions about leprosy and their interaction.

Study design

We conducted semi-structured interviews with adult patients (61 newly diagnosed adult cases from the survey; 37 new patients diagnosed and treated at the primary health centres and 15 patients from the private clinics), 22 parents of children with leprosy during April 2008 to March 2009 in the FMR clinic at Panvel. Additionally, four NGO workers and four PHC staff members were also interviewed using an interview guide.

Salient findings

  • Majority of patients could neither name their disease nor mention its cause, indicating poor knowledge of leprosy among them (Atre et al., 2011).
  • Reasons for remaining undetected were a) ignorance about the condition, b) location of patches on unvisualized regions of the body.

The findings underscored the need for leprosy education to the community and patients, a dialogue between health care providers and patients, involvement of family members in keeping treatment adherence, trainings for health staff, etc.

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