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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Leprosy in Nepal

05 Mar 2018

Media reports that the government of Nepal has found 300 new leprosy cases in Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Kailali districts in a recent survey. Although Nepal declared that it had eliminated leprosy in 2010, cases have been rising for the past two years with 5 922 in 2016-2017.

Leprosy is found in 22 districts of Nepal, of which 18 are in the lowland Tarai region. Lack of awareness, poor personal hygiene and sanitation, and low economic status of the people are mainly to blame for the increasing number of leprosy patients.

Advice for Travellers

The risk of leprosy for the average traveller is extremely small. The risk is greater for those working closely with untreated lepromatous patients in a healthcare setting or volunteers in a leprosy centre who should be aware of the risk and have regular health checks.