Screening household contacts of children diagnosed with leprosy in a tertiary referral centre, Chhattisgarh State, India.
Objective: The study aimed to screen the household contacts of children diagnosed with leprosy in a tertiary referral centre.
Methods: This hospital based study involved 117 children, aged up to 14 years and newly diagnosed with leprosy, who attended a tertiary referral centre Hospital, Champa, Chhattisgarh, India. We enumerated all the household contacts of the registered child cases and invited them to attend for screening for leprosy.
Results: Of the 117 children, 72 (62%) were male and 45 (38%) were female with ages ranging from 3 to 14 years. Nearly half of them (47%) were diagnosed as multibacillary cases. A total of 358 household members was enrolled for screening. Of these, 214 (60%) were examined for leprosy. Ninety-three household members were found to have signs of leprosy, and among these, 17 were identified as new cases, 30 were known cases currently on treatment and 46 had been previously treated for leprosy.
Conclusion: The study showed that a household contact survey is an effective method for case detection in leprosy control programmes. Continued health education and motivation of household contacts will enhance the voluntary reporting for periodical screening.