The Palpa District Public Health Office (DPHO) reported this week on 13 new leprosy cases in the central Nepal district, according to a Kathmandu Post report. About 16 cases are reported annually in the district.

Nepal-CIA_WFB_MapThe number of leprosy patients taking drugs has reached 13 in the district so far and of them eight patients have completed drugs, the DPHO said.

According to the WHO, there were more than 200,000 new cases reported globally in 2015.

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy is curable and treatment provided in the early stages averts disability. Multidrug therapy, made available by WHO free of charge to all patients worldwide since 1995, provides a simple yet highly effective cure for all types of leprosy.

The Nepalese government has the aim to eliminate the disease by 2020 and has launched a campaign to seek and treat patients of leprosy in various districts in the country.