ONGWEDIVA: A total of 30 new cases of leprosy were reported in the country over the past three years, Health and Social Services Minister Dr Richard Kamwi said on Friday.
Addressing the national commemoration of World Leprosy Day at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region on Friday, Kamwi said 19 new leprosy cases were reported in 2010, five in 2011 and six in 2012.
The hotspots for these cases, Kamwi said, appear to be the Kavango, Caprivi, Ohangwena, Oshana and Omusati regions.
The Health Minister stated that this could, however, be an under-representation of the existing number of cases since it is possible that some cases are going undiagnosed.
According to Kamwi, there are about three million people in the world who are disabled or blind because of leprosy.
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease occurring mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. It is characterised by the formation of painful inflamed nodules beneath the skin and disfigurement and wasting of affected parts.