Journal of Health in the Field,
18 October 2017,
Leprosy is a bacterial infection that has caused the horror of humans more than any other disease over the course of history. The disease has provided the basis for social isolation of people involved. This long-term infection, is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by mycobacterium lepra with a wide clinical spectrum.
So far, development of a vaccine to protect against leprosy has not been successful; however, the impact of early diagnosis and treatment in its prognosis, even in the era before the discovery of antibiotics, has also been of scholars’ interest, as Avicenna writes: "A person who has recently been infected with leprosy and the beginning of the illness is more than hope! but when you get sick, you get rooted and have a steady state if it is treated, it is very difficult". Today, improving lifestyle, promoting health awareness, and improving people’s knowledge about signs and symptoms of illness, as well as regular examination of people in endemic areas in order to early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to success control measures.
Patients who do not derive the benefits from the primary and secondary prevention and have lesions resulting from the anesthetics of the organs, if do not respond to therapeutic measures, will undergo organs alteration as well as osteomyelitis; in which amputation would be sometimes necessary. Furthermore, ophthalmologic complications may also reduce vision or even resulted in blindness. Ultimately, the many
and various complications of the disease on the face of the patient can lead to intolerable defects and social isolation.
Iran has always been one of the hyper endemic areas for lepra throughout history. Suitable sites named "Beh-khadeh" have been established in the northeastern, north, northwestern, and western parts of the country to locate and treat the patients with lepra. During the past years, thousands of these patients have provided with treatment, social and economic support. The incidence and prevalence of the disease have
been declined year by year as a result of health care, diagnosis, timely treatment and administration of the disease; so that the process of the disease has been steadily declining since about two decades ago, based on World Health Organization (WHO). According to the latest report of WHO (August of 2017), the incidence and prevalence of leprosy have reached zero in the country in 2016, and even a new case has not been found anywhere in the country for the first time in history. Thanks to this amazing success, resulted from the precise control and care efforts of the country's health authorities, the editorial of the present issue
of Journal of health in the field has therefore been designated to the issue of leprosy elimination.