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    Indonesia tackles leprosy scourge

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    Leprosy is a bacterial disease that has been around for over 4.000 years and is one many would have assumed ought to have been eradicated by now.

    But millions of leprosy patients around the world live with an illness which often sparks fear and misunderstanding.

    Indonesia has the third highest number of sufferers in the world after India and Brazil and here thousands still live in shame, secrecy and isolation.

    Now the government with the help of the military is trying to educate, diagnose and eradicate the scourge -- an effort that has come a little too late for some.

    Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from West Sumatra.