Leprosy is a chronic disease causedby a bacillus, Mycobacteriumleprae. It is transmittedvia droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequentcontacts with untreated cases. Untreated, leprosy can causeprogressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyesand later leading to permanent disability. Early diagnosis andtreatment with multidrug therapy (MDT) remain the key elements ineliminating the disease as a public health concern
InTanzania leprosy control is under the national TB and Leprosy ControlProgram. The ultimate goal of the program is to eliminate leprosy toless than 1 case per 10,000 inhabitants. With increased efforts form2006, the prevalence has continued to decline in most of thedistricts. However, some regions and districts still remain withprevalence higher than 1:10,000 populations. According to 2009 annualreport regions with prevalence more than 1 per 10000 were Dar esSalaam, Rukwa, Lindi and Mtwara.
he proportion of MB among new cases has been steadily increasing throughout the last five years mainly in older age groups suggesting possible reduction of disease transmission. This is also consistent with descriptions in the literature about the disease epidemic.