Delay in leprosy diagnosis — a multi-center, multi-country Asian study

Erik Post, Wim Brandsma, Inge Wagenaar, Khorshed Alam, Vanaja Shetty, Sajid Husain, Cita Rosita Sigit Prakoeswa, Mahesh Shah, Krishna Bahadur Tamang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Summary Delay in reporting for possible leprosy diagnosis and a delay in making the diagnosis of leprosy may result in unnecessary complications. Objective: Which factors contribute to late reporting and a missed diagnosis of leprosy? Method: A questionnaire, involving 1243 newly diagnosed patients, was used to explore reasons for possible delay in diagnosis and start of treatment; the patients were being managed in six projects in four leprosy endemic countries, and needed treatment for nerve function impairment, Results/Conclusions: Delays in reporting for diagnosis and in establishing the diagnosis are multifactorial and differ between the research sites. Factors contributing to the delay are person and program related, including concealment of suspected disease, perhpas because of shame,accessibility of the clinic, and expertise within the diagnostic services. They need to be addressed in different ways to minimize delay thereby reducing risks for complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalLeprosy Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Stigma


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