Mexico registered 102 cases of leprosy in 2018

The Ministry of Health strengthens actions to control leprosy and the actions are focused in all the states of the country.

Although Mexico has achieved since 1994, the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, with a prevalence of less than one case per 10 thousand inhabitants, as established by the World Health Organization ( WHO ), The Ministry of Health strengthens the actions in order to achieve its definitive control.

In 2018, 388 patients with leprosy were registered, of which 102 were new cases and the rest (286) are previously diagnosed patients, who are under medical treatment.

This was reported by the director of Mycobacteriosis of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control ( CENAPRECE ), Fátima Leticia Luna López, when she was interviewed as part of World Leprosy Day, which is celebrated on the last Sunday in January.

He specified that the Leprosy Program establishes the intentional search of cases, mainly in the states of Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Colima, Nuevo Leon, Nayarit, Guerrero, Michoacán, Coahuila and Sonora, where 75.5 percent of the total cases nationwide in 2018.

He stressed that the message to the population is that leprosy is curable, its treatment is free and timely diagnosis is essential to reduce risks of disability.

He mentioned that this year’s theme is: “Towards the elimination of leprosy in Mexico, without stigma or discrimination,” a message that seeks to raise awareness in the population that leprosy is a disease like any other and requires timely medical attention.

“Leprosy is a disease with a lot of stigma and discrimination. There are communities where the population refrains from mentioning that they have had contact with an infected person, to avoid rejection, “he said.

Among the scheduled actions are the Dermatological Days by the State Health Secretariats, which carry out a search for people with skin lesions, or who have had some contact with infected persons.

He explained that health personnel are trained in the integral management of affected people, with the aim of resuming their social and work life.

The suspected cases, he said, undergo laboratory studies and confirm the presence of  Mycobacterium leprae, immediately the doctor provides pharmacological treatment.

Dr. Luna Lopez explained that for treatment purposes, leprosy is classified as paucibacillary or multibacillary, the latter type is the most prevalent in the country, when it occurs in 82 percent of patients.

The drugs used to treat the disease are: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine, which are free and have sufficient supply in Mexico.

Leprosy is a chronic and infectious disease caused by  Mycobacterium leprae, which manifests with hypopigmented skin spots (of a colorless intense than the rest of skin), reddish or coppery with sensitivity disorder or infiltrated plaques, nodules or ulcers.

Because the multiplication of the bacillus is very slow, it can take up to 20 years for skin lesions to appear. Its contagion is through particles of nasal or oral secretion when there is close and frequent contact with an infected person.

Source: MVS Noticias

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