Indian J Lepr 2008, 80 : 167-174 Original Article

Extent and Correlates of Leprosy Stigma in Rural India

 
PSS Rao*, MS Raju**, A Barkataki***, NK Nanda****, Sandeep Kumar*****
 

* PSS Rao, MA, MPH, Dr PH, Research Coordinator, Research Resource Centre, The Leprosy Mission Trust India, New Delhi
** MS Raju, PhD, Social Scientist, Research Resource Centre, The Leprosy Mission Trust India, New Delhi
*** A Barkataki, DTM & H, Superintendent, The Leprosy Mission Community Hospital, Faizabad (UP)
**** NK Nanda, DTM & H, Superintendent, The Leprosy Mission Community Hospital, Purulia(WB)
***** Sandeep Kumar, MD, Superintendent, The Leprosy Mission Community Hospital, Champa(CG)

Abstract

Representative random samples of leprosy patients (599) and community members (2399) from rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh states of India were interviewed by trained field investigators during 2006, using two separate 5-point scales to assess the extent and correlates of leprosy stigma. Varying degrees of stigma were faced by the affected persons within the family and outside in all the States, restricting their social participation and sharing of common facilities. The community members also confirmed the existence of a high level of stigma. Low educational and economic status, older age-groups, and presence of deformities enhance both perceived and enacted stigma.
Key words : Stigma, Leprosy, Rural India