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NLEP’s increased availability of Slit Skin Smear test aids early diagnosis of leprosy

6 November 2023

The National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) has announced the availability of Slit Skin Smear (SSS) tests at all its establishments.

The simple, cost-effective test involves a sample collected from a tiny cut in the skin and then examined for presence of multibacillary leprae. The increased availability of SSS tests will encourage bacteriological examination for leprosy alongside clinical examination, aiding early diagnosis and prevention of misdiagnosis.

The availability of SSS tests at field level is one of the key intervention strategies of NLEP, and India’s Public Health Standards’ 2022 guidelines included the SSS test under its list of essential services to be made available at healthcare facilities.

To find out more about Lepra's approach to early detection and treatment, read more here:

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