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About Leprosy

Leprosy is a mildly infectious disease which attacks nerves in the hands, feet and face, making them weak and numb.

Often considered a disease of the past, leprosy in fact continues to affect millions of people around the world, with hundreds of thousands of new diagnoses every year, and many known to continue undiagnosed.

Most New Zealanders are not aware that leprosy exists today. In fact, every two minutes someone is diagnosed with leprosy.

Leprosy is curable, not highly contagious, and most people have a natural immunity to it, but a lack of knowledge and understanding about the disease is one of the key challenges as we seek to defeat it entirely. 

  • Causes


    Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is caused by bacteria which attack nerves in the extremities of the body like your hands, feet and face leaving them numb.
  • Consequences


    In almost every country where we work, stigma towards leprosy-affected individuals and their families still exists.
  • Cure


    A combination of three separate drugs (Dapsone, Clofazimine and Rifampicin) known as multi-drug therapy (or MDT) kills the bacteria that causes leprosy.
  • Frequently asked questions

    Frequently asked questions

    Leprosy still exists today and it affects families across generations. Leprosy is curable. We believe this dreadful disease can be eradicated in a generation.
  • Further Information

    Further Information

    There are many organisations around the world that work towards the goal of eradicating the causes and consequences of leprosy.