UP to 15 million people in the world have some form of leprosy, according to a pamphlet issued at an exhibition, "Battle Against Leprosy," which opened on Tuesday in the courtyard of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
It is being held simultaneously with the 9th International Leprosy Congress, in London, attended by 500 delegates from 70 countries, which was opened on Monday by Mr. Robinson, Minister of Health. He said new patients in Britain were being notified at about the rate of one a week.
The St. Martin's exhibition, arranged by the United Leprosy Aid Committee, shows in a series of photographs the progress made in controlling and curing the disease:A vaccine protection for children, as used in the prevention of tuberculosis, is being experimented with in Uganda with promising results.
The committee's pamphlet, "Twenty Questions About Leprosy," says that one of the greatest advances in leprosy treatment has been surgical reconstruction of deformities through muscle and tendon grafting, plastic surgery and other surgical techniques. These enable hand, foot and face deformities to be corrected where the damage done is not too e tensive. It is thought that 80 pe cent of all deformities could be prevented if patients could be taught to protect insensitive hands and feet from damage. The United Leprosy Aid Committee, of 7 Bloomsbury Square, London, W.C.I, will supply further information about the work of British organisations concerned with the care of lepers—British Leprosy Relief Association (Lepra), the Leprosy Mission, the Order of Charity, or the Catholic body St. Francis Leper Guild.