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Leprosy is a neglected disease that affects thousands of people around the world, mainly in developing countries. Control represents a challenge for health systems. A crucial aspect to be considered are the social determinants of health, factors that directly influence the incidence, dissemination and control of leprosy.

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Preliminary data from the Ministry of Health indicate that, in 2022, more than 17,000 new cases of leprosy were diagnosed in Brazil.


Due to the high number of annual records, the disease is still considered a public health problem. In 2021, the number of records reached 18,000 cases, with 11.2% of patients considered as grade 2 of physical disability – when injuries considered serious are identified in the eyes, hands and feet. It is important to highlight that the disease is curable and the treatment is offered free of charge in the Unified Health System (SUS).

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Among the actions to eliminate the disease, the Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy to Combat Leprosy 2023-2030, which presents the vision of a Brazil without the disease. To this end, it is encouraged and supported that the 75.03% of the municipalities in the country with cases notified in the period 2015 and 2019 intensify the actions to combat it, seeking to involve the health and social education sectors, as well as encouraging the 24.97% of municipalities that did not present cases to adopt specific measures to improve health surveillance and to prevent physical disabilities resulting from leprosy.