18.3.1  Case finding

The main purposes of case finding are to:

  • Identify the sources of infection in the community
  • Diagnose and cure leprosy cases before irreversible nerve damage and disability occur.

There are two general strategies for case finding:

Passive case finding: where you ask about, or observe, symptoms and signs of leprosy when individuals attend the health facility or meet you in your community work.

Intensified/active case finding: where you examine all household contacts of a leprosy patient to identify leprosy cases early.

Whenever you are in doubt whether an individual has leprosy or not, encourage and refer such a person to the nearest health facility capable of diagnosing leprosy.

18.3  Transmission, identification and diagnosis

18.3.2  Diagnosing leprosy