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India Makes World’s First Leprosy Vaccine

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Aug 23, 2016

The world's first leprosy vaccine has been developed in India and will be entering trials next month.

With the largest number of leprosy patients in India, the new vaccine could be a godsend.

If the trial basis is successful, the vaccine program will extend outside the five districts in Bihar and Gujarat chosen on a pilot basis.

The vaccine, mycobacterium indicus pranii, is going to be administered as a prevention for people who are living in contact with leprosy sufferers. 

The mass vaccination program well be the first of its kind in the world
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"It is the first vaccine for leprosy, and India will be the first to have a large-scale vaccination programme. Trials have shown that if the vaccine is given to people in close contact with the affected, cases can be brought down by 60% in three years. It expedites cure rate if given to people with skin lesions," said Indian Council of Medical Research director general Dr.Soumya Swaminathan.

The vaccine was developed by founder-director of the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, G. P. Talwar, who said "An immunotherapeutic vaccine for leprosy has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India and US Food and Drug Administration. It is also effective for curing anogenital warts and some cancers."

Dr. Swaminathan says, "a trial had shown that the vaccine, if given to people in close contact with affected persons, could bring down cases by 60 per cent in three years."

The new vaccine is expected to lower the number of leprosy cases by 60 percent by the year 2020
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Leprosy is curable and less contagious than other diseases but the skin and peripheral nerves can be affected, which can lead to physical deformities. If left untreated, the disease can cause permanent damage to nerves, eyes and the skin. 

The deformities have a major impact on social and psychological health and there is often a stigma around leprosy in India, some cases even leading to divorce.

Prevention of leprosy by immunization will provide newfound hope against the physical, social, and mental effects of the disease.

If the vaccinaion progam is successful, the efforts will contribute toward the World Health Organization’s vision of eradicating leprosy by 2020.

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Nomaan Khan

Nomaan Khan


After spending some time in a completely different field, Nomaan decided to drop it all and switch to Mohawk College to pursue his longtime interest in the world of Journalism. His experience working in multimedia platforms has helped him develop exceptional skills in thinking on his ...


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