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Finding and treating children with leprosy in the Amazon region of Brazil

Dr. John Spencer is a mycobacteriologist studying leprosy at Colorado State University. He has collaborators in the northern state of Para, Brazil, who visit schoolchildren in about 10 different cities in the Amazon region and elsewhere to diagnose and treat kids and family members who have this disease. He has gone with Dr. Claudio Salgado and members of his team consisting of leprologists, physiotherapists, nurses and support personnel to remote cities where leprosy is hyperendemic. He has accompanied Dr. Salgado and his team to visit and conduct surveys in three different cities in 2013. During each week, the team will bleed and examine between 600-700 children and the household contacts of diagnosed cases. We usually diagnose between 5-10% of individuals in these areas with leprosy based on clinical signs and symptoms. All receive free treatment to prevent further nerve damage, disfigurement and disability caused by this ancient human pathogen, Mycobacterium leprae. This video documents what we are doing to prevent leprosy in children in poor areas in Brazil.


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