Fight against leprosy on the Oaxacan coast


The State has maintained the prevalence rate of this chronic infectious disease of less one case for every ten thousand inhabitants.

Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo, Oaxaca .- During the last 15 years, Oaxaca has met the objectives established by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to keep the prevalence rate of leprosy less than one in 10,000 population; the purpose is that by 2030, this disease is eradicated in the entity.

Oaxaca avanza en el combate contra la Lepra – Enlace de la Costa

This was highlighted by the Head of the SSO Preventive Medicine Unit, Vladimir Eliel Hernández Sosa, when launching on behalf of the Secretary of State Health, Juan Carlos Márquez Heine, the Dermatological Conference for the intentional search of leprosy cases in the Coast from August 31 to September 3.

He mentioned that the incidence of this pathology in Oaxaca is low, in 2020 six people were diagnosed, while so far in 2021, there are three cases detected.

Therefore, it is no longer a public health problem and there are several factors that explain this decline, such as better diagnosis and more effective drug treatment.

He explained that leprosy is a chronic infectious disease transmitted by Mycobacterium leprae, which is characterized mainly by causing lesions on the skin and peripheral nerves, “when we suspect that a person has it, it is due to the presence of white spots on the dermis, which is often dry, and when this evolves, there can be alterations in sensitivity, that is, patients do not feel the heat ”.

Vladimir Eliel Hernández Sosa

The medical professional also mentioned that other warning signs are the presence of nodules on the skin or ulcers, especially in people who live, in geographical areas where cases have previously been detected.

Hernández Sosa explained that the disease is of slow transmission, from nine to 20 years, while the incubation period is an average of five years and is spread from person to person, mainly when living closely with those who already have this pathology, as is the case of relatives.

The state official said that, even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSOs keep active in the localities the actions of promotion, dissemination, home visits, dermatological clinical review, smear sampling – as long as they find lesions suggestive of the illness-.

As well as the sample of a portion of the skin through a biopsy. Both tests are sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health of Oaxaca (LESPO) where they are processed to establish or discard the diagnosis; If the result is positive, the person is incorporated into treatment, which is free, lasts from six months to a year, and is available in the SSO.

He pointed out that, although through the detection days that are carried out during the year, the personnel who go to the communities carry out the diagnosis and follow-up of the cases, in all the Units of the First Level of Health Care of this institution, the and the professionals of the medical branch are trained to make the differential diagnosis and provide the appropriate treatment.

He stressed that this important action is carried out with the participation of health personnel from the Health Jurisdictions of the Isthmus and Coast.


The Oaxaca Post