Leprosy in the Western Pacific Region
Today, the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy is easy and most endemic countries are striving to fully integrate leprosy services into existing general health services. This is especially important for those under-served and marginalised communities most at risk from leprosy, often the poorest of the poor.
Access to information, diagnosis and treatment with multidrug therapy (MDT) remain key elements in the strategy to eliminate the disease as a public health problem (an interim target), defined as reaching a prevalence of less than 1 leprosy case per 10,000 population. MDT treatment has been made available by WHO free of charge to all patients worldwide since 1995, and provides a simple yet highly effective cure for all types of leprosy.
The Enhanced Global Strategy 2011-2015 for further reducing the disease burden due to leprosy is being adopted and implemented by national leprosy programmes in countries where the disease is endemic. The strategy aims at reducing the rate of new cases with grade-2 disabilities worldwide by at least 35% by the end of 2015 compared with the baseline at the end of 2010.