Section : Conference Notes

Leprosy in Indonesia

  • number of new cases in 2008: 17,441
  • number of new cases in 2012: 18,994


  • High number of new cases (CDR (case detection rate) more than 10 out of 10000 cases) in these Indonesian regions:
    • Papua
    • W Papua
    • Maluku
    • Sulawesi
    • Java (as the population is a lot higher)
    • Aceh (Sumatra)


  • Subclinical leprosy is more frequent and varies from 3-20 times clinically evident leprosy.
  • Adding to this: dermatologists in Indonesia shift more and more into cosmetic dermatology and might not be able to diagnose leprosy anymore. Another problem is also that Hansen’s disease patients do not present to teaching hospitals and the number of cases presenting to residents is therefore very low (the disease is only encountered in textbooks).Also leprosy is not a public health problem anymore so funding is more and more difficult.
  • Disability level is high (claw hand deformity…)…surgeons are not interested because surgery of these patients is not financially interesting.


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland
Source of Information: Soebono H. Leprosy to be a neglected Disease in Indonesia ? Leprosy and other Mycobacteriosis – Status Update. 2014 (4) – 21st Regional Conference of Dermatology; Danang (Vietnam)