India is soon going to start trial on world’s first “Made in India” Leprosy Vaccine and will pilot it in five districts of Bihar and Gujarat.
The exclusive vaccine is expected to go on trial in few weeks and would be part of India’s effort to eradicate Leprosy, a disease that affects around 1.25 lakh people every year.
Around 60% of the global leprosy patients live in India as delay in detection and treatment leaves many crippled for life. Looking at how patients respond in the pilot phase, the government plans to implement the programme in other high-prevalence districts across the country.
The vaccine, which is being called Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii (MIP), will be administered upon people living in close contact with those infected by the bacteria as a prevention medication.
If the response in these areas gives a satisfactory result, the trial would be considered a success and given to more people across the country.
The MIP vaccine has been developed by founder-director of the National Institute of Immunology (NII) G P Talwar and has already been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the US-FDA.
Representational Image AP
According to Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Centre has already started door-to-door screening in 50 high-prevalence districts
across the country and over 7.5 crore people have been screened.
Out of these 7.5 crore people, 5,000 have been confirmed with leprosy and the government in their next phase plans to cover 163 endemic districts including Erode in Tamil Nadu.