Leprosy: epidemiology, pathology, immunology, prevention of disability and stigma

Published on June 29, 2022   38 min

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Hello. It's a pleasure to be doing the second Henry Stewart lecture. My name is Diana Lockwood, and I'm an Emeritus Professor of Tropical Medicine. I've spent a lifetime working in leprosy, looking after patients and trying to improve outcomes for patients combining clinical work and research.
In this talk, I'm going to talk about the epidemiology of leprosy, the pathology of leprosy, because it's unique and underlies the different challenges of the disease. The immunology is also critical to the disease. We don't yet really have good vaccines for preventing leprosy. I'm going to talk about the key part of managing leprosy patients which is the prevention of disability. I'm also going to talk about stigma, an old age problem, and we've got new approaches to challenging stigma.
In leprosy, as of 2021, 83% of the world's registered cases are in 6 countries. However, all the nations report their leprosy cases to WHO, so we actually know that patients have been reported from 80 countries. About 220,000 new cases are detected annually. The number of new cases has been stable since about 2007 and that's also partly because of the epidemiology of leprosy. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Tanzania and Ethiopia are the top countries. WHO has also identified 22 global priority countries where leprosy is deemed to be a problem and they are in Africa, Southeast Asia and Brazil.

Leprosy: epidemiology, pathology, immunology, prevention of disability and stigma

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