Leprosy elimination: progress report
Abstract1. Leprosy is an infectious and disabling disease caused by the Mycobacterium leprae, which can lead to permanent disability. The chronic symptoms often afflict individuals in their most productive stage of life and therefore impose a significant social and economic burden on society. Leprosy patients are often shunned and become isolated within their own communities. They become dependent on others for care and financial support, leading to further isolation and insecurity. At the end of 1993, the prevalence of the disease was 113 6501 cases in the African Region, corresponding to a rate of 2.1 per 10 000 inhabitants. 2. In 1994, the WHO Regional Committee for Africa adopted Resolution AFR/RC44/R5 Rev.1 on the elimination of leprosy, defined as a prevalence rate of less than one case per 10 000 inhabitants. At the end of 1999, the global leprosy prevalence dropped by 85% to reach 1.4 per 10 000 inhabitants and leprosy was eliminated from 98 countries in the world; in the WHO African Region, the prevalence was 1.2 per 10 000 inhabitants—32 countries had achieved the elimination goal.2 WHO together with countries and partners formed a Global Alliance for the Elimination of Leprosy3 to reach the elimination goal at national level in each country worldwide by 2005.
Regional Committee for Africa, 57. (2011). Leprosy elimination: progress report. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1809