Some indices pertaining to the leprosy control programme in Tamil Nadu, based on data from a random sample of fourteen government control units.
From a random sample of 14 Government Leprosy Control Units in Tamil Nadu, information on the profile of the newly-diagnosed leprosy patients and some important aspects of the control programme in 1978-81 was collected when monotherapy with dapsone was the practice. Among the new patients, 55 per cent were males, 24 per cent were children, 6 per cent had lepromatous leprosy and 9 per cent had a deformity. About 65 per cent were detected by active case-finding methods and 25 per cent were voluntary referrals. Of the total diagnosed patients, only 68 per cent started treatment; further, of these, about 40 per cent collected drugs for at least 6 months in the first year of treatment. The average attendance at the clinic was 34 per cent of the due attendance. Coverage in the annual examination of family contacts was 57 per cent. During the 4 yr period, about 70 per cent of the villages had population surveys with a coverage of 75 per cent or more. The introduction of multi-drug therapy has provided a new impetus to the programme and therefore a similar study is called for to provide valuable information about the extent of improvement in completion rates and overall impact.