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Right at Home Blog

World Leprosy Day 2023 

| Chronic Disease

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally every year on the last Sunday of January to increase the public awareness of leprosy or Hansen's Disease. 

Hansen’s disease is an infection caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). With early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be cured. People with Hansen’s disease can continue to work and lead an active life during and after treatment. Fortunately, it is rare in Australia and can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 127,558 new leprosy cases detected globally in 2020 – official figure from 139 countries from the six WHO regions. This includes 8,629 children under 15 years old. The new case detection rate among the child population was recorded at 4.4 per million. At the end of 2020, the prevalence was 129,389 cases on treatment – prevalence rate corresponds to 16.7 per million population. 

In 1981, WHO recommended MDT. The currently recommended MDT regimen consists of medicines: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. This treatment lasts six months for pauci-bacillary and 12 months for multi-bacillary cases. MDT kills the pathogen and cures the patient. 

Since 1981 WHO has provided MDT free of cost. Free MDT was initially funded by The Nippon Foundation, and since 2000 it is donated through an agreement with Novartis until 2025. 

More than 16 million leprosy patients have been treated with MDT over the past 20 years. A general reduction in new cases, though gradual, is observed in several countries. New cases reduced to 202,256 in 2019.  

The Global Leprosy Strategy 2021–2030 “Towards zero leprosy” was developed through a broad consultative process with all major stakeholders during 2019 and 2020. Valuable inputs were provided by national leprosy programme managers, technical agencies, public health and leprosy experts, funding agencies and persons or members of communities directly affected by leprosy.  

If you would like to learn more, download the WHO’s Towards zero leprosy strategy. 


Keep up to date with COVID 19 information on the following links: 

Australian Government Department of Health 

Victorian Health and Human Services 

NSW Health 

Queensland Health 

ACT Health 

WA Department of Health 

Tasmanian Department of Health 

Northern Territory Department of Health 

SA Health 

Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors (elderly and aged care), and any adult who needs our care at home including adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no package management fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget. 

Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one. 

To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website. 

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