the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy is easy and most endemic
countries are striving to fully integrate leprosy services into
existing general health services. This is especially important for
those under-served and marginalised communities most at risk from
leprosy, often the poorest of the poor.
to information, diagnosis and treatment with multidrug therapy
(MDT) remain key elements in the strategy to eliminate the disease
as a public health problem, defined as reaching a prevalence of
less than 1 leprosy case per 10,000 population. MDT treatment has
been made available by WHO
free of charge to all patients worldwide since 1995, and provides
a simple yet highly effective cure for all types of leprosy.
to official reports received during 2008 from 118 countries and
territories, the global registered prevalence of leprosy at the
beginning of 2008 stood at 212,802 cases, while the number of new
cases detected during 2007 was 254,525 (excluding the small number
of cases in Europe). The number of new cases detected globally has
fallen by 11,100 cases (a 4% decrease) during 2007 compared with
previously highly endemic countries have now reached elimination
(defined as a registered prevalence rate of <1 case/10 000
population). During 2007, both the Democratic Republic of the
Congo and Mozambique reached this important stage. Those few
countries that remain are very close to eliminating the disease.
However, pockets of high endemicity still remain in some areas of Angola,
Brazil, Central African Republic, Democratic
Republic of Congo, India, Madagascar, Mozambique,
Nepal, and the United Republic of Tanzania. These
countries remain highly committed to eliminating the disease, and
continue to intensify their leprosy control activities.
campaigns about leprosy in high risk areas are crucial so that
patients and their families, who were historically ostracized from
their communities, are encouraged to come forward and receive
treatment. The most effective way of preventing disabilities in
leprosy, as well as preventing further transmission of the
disease, lies in early diagnosis and treatment with MDT.
Leprosy Foundation - A
non-profit research center for leprosy and other biomedical
research located in Cebu City, The Philippines. Administrative
offices are located in Rockville, MD USA.
- Leprosy - Article by Felisa S. Lewis, MD, Theresa
Conologue DO, and Elyse Harrop, MD, covering the history,
pathophysiology, frequency, causes and treatment of this
disease, with bibliography.
- International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations -
Consists of 17 autonomous non-governmental organisations,
based in 13 countries. The ILEP member organisations carry out
field project and research work. Features organisation
information, field work, research, publications and documents,
FAQ on leprosy, and news.
Development Foundation - Voluntary organisation dedicated
to leprosy eradication in India. Includes facts, news, events
National Historical Park - A park on the island of Molokai
in Hawaii, it serves as an ongoing reminder of the islands'
struggle with Hansen's Disease (leprosy). Includes a history
of leprosy settlements at Kalaupapa and at Kalawao.
- British organization whose mission is to restore health,
hope and dignity to people affected by leprosy and other
diseases of poverty. Includes news, events and projects.
Publishes Leprosy Review, which can be read online with Adobe
Leprosy Mission - An international Christian charity,
founded in 1874, and aiming to eradicate the causes and
consequences of leprosy. History, statistics, annual review,
getting involved and information on leprosy.
Leprosy Mission Northern Ireland - Includes information,
news and events, as well as a children's section.
Hansen's Disease Programs (US) - Features history,
research, rehabilitation, clinical care, and training
The Elimination of Leprosy - Resources and information
from the World Health Organization on this disease and the
global strategy to eliminate it.