Nepal's Ministry of Health yesterday announced that leprosy has been 'eliminated' in the country.
The announcement comes as the result of the latest leprosy data for Nepal, published in December, which showed that the incidence of leprosy had dropped to 0.89 registered cases per 10,000 people.
The latest data shows that 2,445 people are currently receiving treatment for leprosy in Nepal. The region of Nepal with the lowest incidence of leprosy is the country's Western Region, which has 0.7 registered cases per 10,000 people. Around 8% of people diagnosed with leprosy are children, while 3% of the people diagnosed with leprosy have Grade 2 disability. Around 68% of people diagnosed with leprosy are male.
'The next step after elimination is to maintain strategies for further reduction of the incidence of leprosy,' says Himalaya Sigdel, INF's Kaski District Programme Manager. 'However, total eradication of leprosy in Nepal has clearly yet to be achieved,' adds Himalaya.
Nepal's government has acknowledged the important role played by INF in leprosy control over the last 50 years.