The fight against Leprosy, which has been posing a cruel threat since the very beginning of mankind, cannot be compared with the fight of all the other infectious diseases.

In 1982, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared that Leprosy had become a curable disease and this announcement caused both surprise and relief.

The fight against Leprosy – which has lasted for more than thousands of years – can be divided into four phases.

  1. Strict Isolation
  2. Medical Treatment before the Sulfon-Era
  3. The Sulfon-Era
  4. The MDT-Era

At present, Leprosy is being treated with the MDT (Multi-Drug) -Therapy, which is a combined therapy according to the schema developed by the WHO. It is the only safe method to fight the illness and 14 million leprosy patients have been cured over the last 20 years. Moreover, the prevalence rate has dropped by 90 %. Since the year 2000, MDT-tablets have been pressed in the form of blisters in order to prevent resistance.

The fight against Leprosy – a worldwide infectious disease – is managed and supervised by WHO World Health Organization.

International Leprosy Congresses are held at regular pre-set intervals:

The 1st Congress took place in Berlin in 1897 and the 19th International Leprosy Congress was held in Beijing, China, in September 2016.

In Beijing the current programme for leprosy work 2016 – 2020 was presented to physicians who had come from all over the world covering the main goals:

  • Stopp transmission
  • Prevent disability
  • Promote inclusion

The Global strategy is based on three pillars:

  1. Vision of a leprosy-free worldt
  2. Provisional target - the reduction of global and local burden of Leprosy
  3. No cases of newly diagnosed children suffering from obvious deformities.
    The objective of newly diagnosed leprosy patients suffering from obvious deformities is to be below 1 million cases. There should be no discrimination against leprosy patients in any country in the world.

    The current situation:

    Leprosy has been eliminated worldwide with exception India, Brazil, Indonesia and so-called ‘hot spots’.

 

Leprosy Relief Organisations

In order to offer organised help to leprosy people in the world, the German Leprosy and TB Relief Association (DAHW) was founded in 1957 and similar organisations were established in other countries. In 1966, the European Leprosy relief organisations formed the working group European Leprosy Relief Organization (ELEP). Due to the work with relief organisations from other continents, it was changed into International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP).Thus, the ILEP is the umbrella organization for Leprosy Relief Work worldwide and includes 11 international Leprosy Relief Organizations.