UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
AFRICA: Seven countries among top leprosy sufferers
NAIROBI, 20 April (IRIN) - While leprosy is approaching elimination as a public health problem worldwide, seven African states remain among 13 "top endemic countries" in which the leprosy burden may still be above the World Health Organisation's target at the end of the year 2000.
Since 1985, the use of multi-drug therapy (MDT) to treat and cure patients has already reduced the global prevalence of leprosy by 85 percent, according to a WHO press release.
But while the number of countries with more than one case per 10,000 has dropped from 122 to 28 since 1985, the prevalence rate in the 13 "top endemic countries" was still 4.4 per 10,000 population at the start of 1999. Among these, in order of prevalence, are the African countries of Madagascar, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Guinea.
WHO estimates that nearly two million patients have yet to be detected over the next two to three years - 90 percent of them in the 13 top endemic countries - so that it and its partners will urgently review the strategies and resources needed to bring the leprosy cure to patients wherever they live.
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 13:25:21 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: AFRICA: Seven countries among top leprosy sufferers 
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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