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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: Global Leprosy Update 2016

The latest figures on leprosy reported to the WHO show the challenges that remain.

More countries than ever are providing data to the WHO on leprosy, the latest Global leprosy update revealed in September. A total of 143 countries reported 214,783 new cases of the disease in 2016, up from 211,793 cases reported by 136 countries in 2015.

India, Brazil and Indonesia continue to account for the most new cases. They are among a total of 22 countries that have been identified as “global priority countries” responsible for over 95% of annual new cases worldwide.

While a marginal increase in the absolute number of new cases was seen in 2016—attributed to active case-finding and improved reporting and data collection—there has been a reduction of about 3% annually in the rate of newly detected cases over the past 10 years.

However, the report noted that the proportion of child cases and multibacilliary cases of leprosy has remained at almost the same level as in previous years in most countries and at regional and global levels, indicating continued transmission. Over 18,000 children were among new cases reported in 2016.

“The global leprosy situation highlights the need for national programs to focus on issues such as sustaining political commitment, working toward universal health coverage to reach population groups at risk, intensifying early case detection activities and strengthening partnerships with non-governmental organizations and networks of persons affected by leprosy,” the report said.

“In addition to continuing to administer MDT to patients,” it concluded, “new preventive approaches such as chemoprophylaxis and immunoprophylaxis need to be considered to break the transmission of the disease.”

 

INDIA LEPROSY CONFERENCE

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A National Leprosy Conference will be held in New Delhi from December 5 to 7, 2017.

The objective of the conference is to showcase the innovative steps being taken to eliminate leprosy from India and explore other measures that could be adopted to ensure successful achievement of the target in the coming years. It will also highlight the commitment of the Indian government in tackling the disease.

Participants from both India and overseas will include scientists, academicians, sociologists, field workers, and representatives from government health systems and partner organizations, including the WHO, International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Organizations, Association of People Affected by Leprosy and NGOs. For more information visit the conference website: www.leprosyconference.com.