Integrated care and leprosy in India: a role for Indian systems of medicine and traditional health practice in the eradication of leprosy

The benefits of an integrated approach in the future of leprosy control in India are discussed, by involving professionals from different systems of medicine and coordinated by dermatologists working in the field of community dermatology. The low level of education amongst traditional healers has led to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, thus emphasizing the importance of health education for patients, families and local practitioners to enable prompt and appropriate treatment. The Indian systems of medicine though supportive do not have the required rehabilitation services. Traditional health practitioners demonstrated an improved knowledge of leprosy on completion of training, and were able to detect and refer suspect cases with only early signs of disease.

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