WHO's role in elimination
What is the role of WHO in working towards the elimination of leprosy?
The WHO leprosy group (LEP) implements and coordinates the global elimination strategy by:
- Developing and adapting an action plan for the elimination of leprosy
- Supplying MDT drugs in blister packs free of cost to all countries in need
- Mobilizing resources
- Providing technical support to endemic countries
- Providing managerial capacity building and health systems research
- Monitoring and evaluating progress towards elimination Organizing global, regional, intercountry and national meetings
- Enhancing the production of documents and information on leprosy
What was the scale of the disease problem tackled between 1996 and 2000?
WHO estimates, based on official data received from endemic countries, indicate that about 2 million patients were detected and treated with MDT over the period 1996 to 2000.
At the national and sub-national levels this has meant additional human and financial resources have been mobilised for reaching these patients and curing them. Every efforts should continue to be made to ensure that the resources needed are available especially at the country level.