Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today officially declared that India was free of the Yaws disease. The highly contagious disease was prevalent among tribals living in unhygienic conditions.
"India has finally eliminated yaws. Last year it was leprosy and this year it was yaws," he said at a function. He added that India had moved closer to completely eliminating yaws by 2008. "Yaws elimination is a step towards eradication", he said.
The Yaws Eradication Programme (YEP) started in 1996-97 in Koraput district of Orissa. In that year, Ramadoss said that 3,571 reported cases were documented, while there were zero in 2004. He added that the World Bank-funded Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) would monitor several national health programmes.