Public Health





In the United States, there are 6,000 people with leprosy, most of whom brought the disease from their native country during immigration (Lewis). Areas that are noted to have relatively high concentrations of leprosy, such as Hawaii and Louisiana, are also the home of leprosy asylums or care facilities.


The World Health Organization in 2002 listed Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nepal as having 90% of the global burden of the disease, with up to 2 million people worldwide suffering disability due to infection (CDC).



Above: Worldwide prevalence rate of registered leprosy patients, 2002(Note: per 10, 000)

Photo Credit: World Health Organization.



Furthermore, the WHO in 2005 noted a 20% reduction in new cases each year for the last three years, with 407, 791 new cases detected in 2004. Less than half (47%) of cases were multibacillary in nature, and fewer than a quarter (12%) of cases were in children.  


The WHO acknowledges that Angola, Brazil, Central African republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania have yet to fully control leprosy, and more must be done in these areas.




Above: Worldwide detection of new cases of leprosy, 2002 (Note: per 100, 000)

Photo Credit: World Health Organization.