Global Leprosy Programme

Epidemiology

Leprosy Epidemiological situation 2017, burden and distribution

Annual leprosy statistics for 2017 were received officially from 159 countries from all WHO Regions. The prevalence was registered as 0.25 per 10 000 population with 192 173 leprosy cases on treatment at the end of 2017. During the year 210 671 new cases (2.8 per 100 000 population) were reported globally. Of them 12 189 (6%) presented with visible deformities or grade-2 disabilities (G2D), including 238 children with G2D. 60% of the global new cases were multibacillary and 39% of the new patients were female. The 22 global priority countries accounted for 95% of the global burden. High endemic pockets were reported from other countries also. The geographic distribution of cases is presented in the map below.

Geographical distribution of new leprosy cases, 2017

The overall new case detection trends globally indicate a decrease in detection of new cases: from 214 783 in 2016 to 210 942 in 2017. The decrease is mainly seen in is mainly attributed to active case finding approaches being adopted by national programmes and improved data collection process. The trends in new case detection (by WHO region) as well as the global new case detection rate are presented below.

New Case Detection Trends by WHO Regions and case detection rate World

In 2017, DHIS2 was used to collect information on epidemiological situation of leprosy and on multidrug therapy (MDT) requirements from countries. Additional information collected from national programmes indicated that 7 332 cases were treated for Reversal Reaction (Type 1) and 5 370 cases were treated for Erythema Nodosum Leprosum (ENL or Type 2) Reactions.