by Jessica Cook
Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy, 2018
Ahead of World Leprosy Day on Sunday 28 January 2018, several leading leprosy groups have joined forces to launch a Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy to accelerate progress towards a world without leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. Despite the availability of effective multi-drug therapy for the last 30 years, the number of newly diagnosed leprosy patients has remained above 200,000 per year for the last decade, including thousands of children. This is due to barriers such as inadequate resources and stigma, which make diagnosing and treating leprosy difficult and allow the disease to continue to spread. However, scientific innovation is changing the way we approach leprosy.i,iii Instead of simply focusing on treatment, we can now implement innovative ways to interrupt transmission of the disease.