Leprosy, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 543

Essay

Introduction

Leprosy is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium mycobacterium leprae. The disease takes a considerable time of up to 30 years to manifest and the symptoms always shown by deformities. The symptoms associated with the disease and the disease is curable. Leprosy is not a common disease due to the length of time taken to show symptoms.

Anatomy and physiology

The mycobacterium leprae bacterium passes into the peripheral nerves situated outside the brain and the spinal Cord. The effect of these bacteria is that it produces sensory loss. The sensory loss is particular to the skin and in the end motor paralysis develops and the combination of both sensory and motor loss results in infections and injuries that may recur. Deformities are also eminent because of the effects of the disease (Thomas & Thomas 2004). There are different forms of leprosy, but all of them involve the peripheral nerves.

Etiology

The discovery of the leprosy causing bacteria was by Dr. Hansen. The disease, however, was in existence since its first established mention in the 600 B.C, recognized in Egypt, India, and China and references in the bible. Dr. Hansen discovered the obligate intercellular rod like bacillus in leprosy lesions. The spread of the disease is by nasal droplets entering into another person body.

Pathogenesis

The leprosy causing mycobacterium leprae that only live in animal and human cell is bacillus that is rod shaped. Charles (2010) provides that the bacteria are eminent in cells that are elderly and have a compromised immune system. The entry of the pathogen into the body is through the skin contact as well as droplets from tracts and through open wounds. The spread is more rampant in communities closely knit together, families and places that are not clean.

Epidemiology

The factors that study the distribution and frequency of leprosy in the population show that the disease has considerably diminished in the preceding years. The countries with a high concentration of the disease are India, Brazil, Mozambique, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Nepal. 70% of the world prevalence of the disease is in India (Charles, 2010).

Sociology

According to the bible, the disease mainly associated with imperfections and uncleanness according the biblical standards. The old testament of the bible associates leprosy with punishment and the consequences of sin. According to Thomas & Thomas (2004), the stigma associated with the disease is that people infected with the disease segregated from the general population and even the existence of the leper communities in Hawaii and Molokai.

Therapy and treatment of leprosy

The effective treatment of leprosy is by use of the multiple drug therapy (MDT). The drugs used in the treatment are Dapasone, Clofazimine, Rifamicin and which rids the disease causing pathogen and cures the patient. The treatment only cures the disease and prevents further deformities from occurring but does not cure any prior deformities sustained because of the disease. The world health organization passed a resolution to get rid of leprosy and consequently provided free multi drug therapy to all patients suffering from leprosy worldwide. The achievement of this is trough the integrating the leprosy services into the existing health care provision. Because of this initiative, 119 countries out of the 122 countries eliminated leprosy cases (World Health Organization, 2010).

Conclusion

According to the World Health Organization (2010), there have been significant steps in the elimination of the disease all over the world. The main challenge associated with the disease is that of stigma. It is possible, however, to eliminate the disease from the community (Nisar & Khan, 2007).

References

Thomas, M., & Thomas, J.M. (2004). Challenges in leprosy rehabilitation. Asia Pacific Disability    Rehabilitation Journal.

Nisar, N & Khan, A. (2007) Knowledge attitude and practices about leprosy in a fishing community in Karachi Pakistan. Mendeley. Retrieved June 4, 2012 from
http://www.mendeley.com/research/knowledge-attitude-practices-about-leprosy-fishing-community-karachi-pakistan/

World Health Organization. (2010). Leprosy. Media centre. Retrieved on June 4, 2012 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs101/en/

Charles, P.D. (2010). Leprosy. MedicineNet.com. Retrieved on June 4, 2012 from http://www.medicinenet.com/leprosy/page6.htm

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