History of leprosy in Senegal
During the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries leprosy spread through Africa downwards from the East.
Leprosaria in Senegal have included Fatick, Kédougou in Tambacouda, Peycouk (or Peykouk) in Thies, Ziguinchor and Lougu, which was closed at the end of April 1909 at which time the inhabitants moved to the one at Sor in Saint-Louis. Today approximately 7,000 people still live in these villages, which were built by French colonialists. 17% of the 2010 inhabitants of Peycouk have severe impairments and still need care and help.
The Ministry of Health introduced its National Leprosy Control Programme in 1995.
At the beginning of 1996, a total of 785 individuals were registered for treatment for leprosy and 1481 people were receiving treatment during the course of that year. 41% of new cases had multi-bacillary leprosy.
At the beginning of the new millennium Senegal was recording approximately 500 new cases of leprosy a year.
257 new cases of leprosy were recorded in 2008, of which 214 were multi-bacillary.
The integration of the Centre Hospitalier de l’Ordre de Malte (CHOM) – formerly the Institut de Léprologie Appliqué, which was set up by the Order of Malta in the 1960s – into the orthopaedic department of the University Hospital has helped to eliminate discrimination and ostracism of people affected by leprosy. It has 20 doctors and can house 46 patients and has a laboratory and pharmacy. With growing awareness about leprosy in the country today, individuals who suspect they have leprosy are presenting themselves for diagnosis.
Also consult the archives of the Global Project on the History of Leprosy for historical information about leprosy in Senegal: http://www.leprosyhistory.org
a MB = Multibacillary leprosy
b Children are cases of 0 - 14 years
c New G2D = WHO grade 2 disabilities among new cases
source data: WHO Weekly epidemiological records :No. 13, 2005, 80, 113-124 : No. 34, 2005, 80, 289-296 : No. 32, 2006, 81, 309-316 : No. 25, 2007, 82, 225-232 : No. 33, 2008, 83, 293-300, No. 33, 2009, 84, 333-340 : No. 35, 2010, 85, 337-348 : No.36, 2011, 86, 389-400 : No. 34, 2012, 87, 317-328.