The Cure & Treatments

Leprosy CAN be Cured!

Since 1982, Leprosy can be fully cured through with a Multi-Drug Therapy
For centuries, all that could be offered to someone with leprosy was a compassionate touch and sincere prayers. There was no way to medically stop the spread of infection or mitigate the risk of deformities.

Irishman, Dr. Vincent Barry, received first-class honours in organic chemistry. His research with the Medical Research Council, where he investigated tuberculosis, prepared the way to uncover significant components of leprosy.

His work, when combined with the insights and research from others, helped to develop the cure still used today. Since 1982, leprosy can be fully cured through with a Multi-Drug Therapy made up of Dapsone, Rifampicin and Chlofazimime. Early diagnosis is extremely important to reduce the impact of leprosy. It is also the most difficult challenge facing the Leprosy Mission, because it is very difficult to diagnose in its early stages.


Each case is unique, so it is very important that the patient has multiple blood tests to ensure that all of the bacteria are killed. When patients cease the treatment before the bacterium is eliminated, it reasserts itself with increased vigor.

Some patients have extremely negative reactions to the strong dosage of drugs. They receive additional treatment to help their body through treatment period. In most cases, the treatment lasts from 12 to 24 months.


First synthesized in 1954, Clofazimine was used in the treatment of tuberculosis. It works by binding to the guanine bases of bacterial DNA, inhibiting bacterial growth. It also increases the activity of bacterial phospholipase A2, which then release lysophospholipids, toxic to bacterial structure.


Introduced in 1967, Rifampicin dramatically changed history. For the first time, using the multi-drug therapy with Dapsone, Clofazimine and Rifampicin, Leprosy could be completely cured. After a treatment of 12-24 months, patients show no sign of the bacteria causing leprosy.


Dapsone is used in combination with Rifampicin and Clofazimine as a multi-drug treatment (MDT) for leprosy. The drug is an odourless white to creamy-white crystalline powder with a slightly bitter taste.

Along with the Multi-Drug Therapy, other specialized treatments may also be required:
Amputations & Prosthesis

When injuries are left untreated, severe infection can set into the bone tissue and spread through the body. In some cases, amputation is the only solution. The Leprosy Mission will perform the surgery and fit the patient with a proper prosthetic before working in rehabilitation to regain mobility.

Reconstructive Surgery

Pioneered by Dr. Paul Brand, tendon transfer surgeries can be performed to reconstruct the damaged tissue. In many cases, this operation can restore mobility in the hands and feet.

Eye Surgery

Leprosy can damage the nerves required to blink which can cause cataracts and even blindness if the cornea dries enough to crack. Many cataract surgeries can restore vision and give back the independence they had prior to contracting leprosy.

Occupational Therapy

When hands and feet are damaged by leprosy, completing daily tasks can be difficult. Our occupational therapists at the Leprosy Mission help to create custom tools and utensils to make living independently easier for those recovering from leprosy.

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