British Leprosy Relief Association
Analysis of newly detected leprosy in Sohag Governorate, Upper Egypt, 2004–2008
aDepartment of Dermatology, Venereology and Andrology, Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Sohag, Egypt
bDepartment of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Sohag, Egypt
cDepartment of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Egypt
Correspondence to: Reham Ezz El-Dawela, Lecturer in Dermatology, Venereology and Andrology Department, Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Sohag 82524, Egypt (Tel: +002 010 680 9003; e-mail: Ezz˙Reham@yahoo.com)
Leprosy is a chronic and complex infectious illness; the new-case detection rate is better than prevalence as an indicator of disease trends. This study presents an analysis of pattern of new cases of leprosy detected annually from 2004 to 2008 in Sohag Governorate, Upper Egypt.
Patients and methods:
Data about patients with newly diagnosed leprosy were collected from Sohag leprosy hospital, the main referral centre in the governorate. Case detection rates (CDR) were calculated for each year by dividing the newly diagnosed cases by mid-year populations for the same year.
587 patients were newly diagnosed between 2004 and 2008. The mean age of patients at diagnosis was 34 years, 62% were males, and 11% were children below 15 years of age. The overall leprosy case detection rate was 3.1/100,000 population and it decreased from 3.4/100,000 population in 2004 to 2.8/100,000 population in 2008. Ninety three percent were classified as multibacillary, and 20.4% had Grade 2 disability at diagnosis.
Leprosy remains a health problem in Sohag Governorate. It is possible that new cases are being detected late owing to inadequate community awareness of the disease. Leprosy control activities should be provided in primary health care units in order to detect new cases, and continued surveillance is required to detect relapses and to ensure good patient compliance with treatment.