Leprosy Is Not Quite Yet A Disease Of The Past

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Leprosy is an ancient disease, a biblical curse and, even in the 21st century, a cultural shame so severe that in some countries, patients are sent to live in isolated colonies or tossed out of their own homes. "I met a woman whose husband and children forced her to live in the cow shed," says Gareth Shrubshole, programs and advocacy officer at the Leprosy Mission . "Her boys refused to share a meal with their own mother." That was in India. That may be a bit surprising — leprosy seems to be a disease of the past. Indeed, in 2006, the World Health Organization issued a report on "elimination of leprosy as a public health problem," stating that the number of cases had dropped by 90 percent since 1985. But more than a decade later, leprosy...

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