Mortality from leprosy and health policy. Argentina, 1980 to 2014
Introduction: Leprosy is an old and socially stigmatizing disease, whose mortality profile in the region of the Americas changed only since 1981 with the introduction of polychemotherapy. As part of the region, Argentina has also been part of that process, with its economic-social and political particularities. This paper analyzes the mortality caused by leprosy in Argentina in the last 35 years, and its relationship with the health context of this country. Methodology: This is a quantitative, transversal and descriptive work, with a socio-demographic perspective. Specific mortality rates are calculated by sex, age and place of residence, for Argentina between 1980 and 2014, based on official data obtained from national organizations and the Pan American Health Organization. Results: There is a decrease in leprosy mortality in the country, approximately 79% in the period studied, with variations in its intensity that are consistent with public health actions applied. This mortality is higher in men, increases from 45 years of age and the most affected provinces are those in the north of the country. Conclusions: Public health policies aimed at reducing leprosy mortality have been effective in the short term, but the lack of maintenance is causing a resurgence of this cause of death.