There is a conscious attempt at the Foundation to resurrect the experimental arm of studies in leprosy - given that the last six years were focussed largely on field-base projects.
Field studies undertaken by FMR in the last decade have indicated a resurgence of leprosy in India due to flawed and incompletely implemented elimination strategies. The findings were responsible for a nationwide prevalence survey which confirmed our finding of high number of cases. This period also saw the application of molecular epidemiological studies to identify leprosy bacterium strains and to understand their transmission in the local environment. A third arm of these studies was able to document several problems in leprosy patients that had been released from treatment. These included disease relapses as well as occurrence of ongoing nerve damage and consequential deformities. These findings highlighted a great gap in post treatment services in the public health system. Future studies in leprosy are in continuity with the ongoing work and include genomic studies on the germ as well as development of health systems that take care of long term needs of the leprosy patients.
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