Highlights on leprosy in ‘Sharkia governorate’ of Egypt: an 11-year study

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The burden of leprosy continues to decline globally because of sustained efforts by national leprosy programs along with continued support from both local and international partners. It is therefore important that all countries, where the disease is endemic, continue to sustain these declines and critically follow the detection of new cases.


The aim of this study was to study the epidemiology of leprosy in Sharkia governorate of Egypt in order to highlight the effectiveness of the leprosy control program during the period from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2010.

Patients and methods

This is an epidemiological retrospective study carried out by reviewing the records of leprosy patients in the Sharkia governorate, Egypt (1 January 2000 to 31 December 2010). Data were obtained from the Zagazig Leprosy and Dermatology Clinic and the Leprosy Control Unit of the Ministry of Health and Population, where leprosy patients in the governorate are examined, registered, treated, and followed up.


During the study, the total number of newly detected cases in Sharkia governorate was 488, with no sex difference. New cases of leprosy detected in children below 14 years ranged between 6.1 and 26.3%. A total of 210 (43%) positive contact cases were detected, and the majority (93%) was multibacillary. Disability grade 0 was recorded in 73.8%, grade 1 in 20.9%, and grade 2 in 5.3%. New case detection was through official notification in 58%, contact surveillance in 21.5%, voluntary presentation in 20.1%, and during mass surveillance in 0.2% of cases.


Although great achievement is apparent in controlling leprosy and reducing the burden of the disease in Egypt, Sharkia governorate needs strict implementation of the control program. The present study in Sharkia governorate highlights the importance of prophylaxis, follow-up, and early detection of disease in the group of patients. This needs to be ensured by strengthening the integration with general health services, active staff members and coworkers, continuous surveillance, and sufficient funds.

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