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Introduction
Leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, is a neglected infectious disease that causes deformity and
disability. Late presentation and hidden cases are the main risks of leprosy-associated disability.
In rural areas, difficulties in access or transportation to health facilities result in leprosy cases
remaining hidden in the community, leading to a greater delay in presentation and, therefore, a
greater number of patients with disabilities.
Methods
During 4 campaigns 2022- 23, home visits were made to index leprosy cases (patients
diagnosed with leprosy in previous campaigns) with screening of cohabitants and neighbors and
social contacts. An exhaustive physical, cutaneous, neurological, and ophthalmological
examination was performed. In case of suspicion of leprosy, on-site smear microscopy or biopsy
(for histopathological study +/- PCR) was performed, collecting epidemiological and clinical
variables. A campaign was carried out in each home/population to disseminate early signs and
symptoms of leprosy, emphasizing that the disease is curable.
Results
Pending completion of data from the last campaign October 2023.
Conclusions
Although this is a preliminary study, we would like to present our experience in active case
finding and contact screening of leprosy cases in a rural area of Malawi. We believe that this is
a good strategy for early diagnosis, preventing the disabilities and stigma attached to this
disease.