In 1990 Kapolowé was, without a doubt, the site of the only surgical centre in Zaire dealing with handicaps which developed in as an after-effect of leprosy. It would be useful to explain the hazards involved in such a venture for reasons which do not pertain to medicine but, rather, to particularly trying socio-political circumstances. The best surgical expertise was thrown out for political reasons. Insecurity and economic hardships practically halted movement and, consequently, the wider application of such expertise. During a mission in 1994, there was a partial resumption of activities. The surgical team was reinstalled and made operational. It had been possible to state that multidrug therapy (MDT) had always ensured that the disabled leprosy patients, living in groups, and treated before 1990 under regular supervision, did not experience serious relapses. That fact corroborates earlier information relating particularly to surgical decompression. Although most of them were able to resume a certain measure of professional activity, social factors must still be borne in mind and the concept of partial permanent disability must be applied.