HC Deb 03 August 1922 vol 157 c1702W

asked the, limier-Secretary of State for India whether he can now give any information as to the results of the amended Leper Act passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in India; how far the Act has been put into force by the various provincial Governments; how many lepers have now been segregated; and how far the remedial treatment of the disease gives promise of success?


The amended Leper Act passed by the Indian Legislative Council in 1920 empowers local Governments to appoint places to be leper asylums and the local areas from which lepers may he sent to such asylums. Under the Holes made under the Government of India Act of 1919 the treatment of lepers is a transferred subject dealt with in provincial administrations by a Minister responsible to the Legislative Council of the province. The Act is therefore not compulsory. The Act is in force throughout Bengal and in prescribed areas of Bombay and Burma. Its application is under consideration in the Governments of the United Provinces, Bihar and Orissa and the Central Provinces. It has not been applied in Assam, the Punjab or the Madras Presidency. Exact figures of the number of lepers who have been segregated under the Act are not available, but 918 are reported to be in asylums in Bengal and 368 in the Bombay Presidency. In Bengal, treatment by chaulmoogra oil and its derivatives, in Bihar and Orissa intravenous injections of hydrocarpate of sodium and sodium morrhuate have been found satisfactory. The latter Government are now trying antimony treatment. It is stated by the Government of Bombay that some of the patients have shown marked improvement under treatment, but none have been really cured. Recent research tends to show that deficiency of certain essential constituents in diet (vitamins) may be a foci or in causing leprosy.

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