Leprosy Elimination in the WHO African Region Information Document
Abstract1. Leprosy is an infectious disease sustained by overcrowding and poverty. It causes deformation, mutilation and disability in the majority of people affected. It is rife among poor populations, impoverishing them even further. Currently, more than five million people (patients and their families) in the African Region are affected by the social and economic consequences of leprosy. 2. The development of an efficacious treatment using a combination of three drugs (multidrug therapy) and the fact that treatment is free of charge led to rapid cure of the disease. That prompted the World Health Assembly to decide, by its Resolution WHA 44.9 passed in 1991, to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem. 3. Member States’ political commitment to eliminating leprosy found expression in the implementation of a national leprosy elimination programme in each country. Regular evaluation of the national programmes rendered achievable the objective of leprosy elimination as a public health problem defined as a prevalence rate below one case per 10 000 inhabitants. As a result, over 800 000 leprosy cases were cured in the Region in the last decade. However, although 37 countries have reached the threshold for leprosy elimination, three other countries remain very endemic and are at risk of inability to attain the set threshold of one case per 10 000 inhabitants by 2005.
Regional Committee for Africa, 54. (2004). Leprosy Elimination in the WHO African Region Information Document. WHO. Regional Office for Africa. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/93122
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-fourth Session Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 30 August–3 September 2004: Provisional agenda item 12.3
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC54/INF/DOC.2
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