A national level LPEP Taskforce meeting was organized by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) with technical support of NLR Nepal on 14th of November, 2018 in Kathmandu. The program was conducted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Kumar Lal, Director of EDCD with the objective to disseminate performances and achievements from the LPEP pilot districts: Morang, Jhapa and Parsa as well as to discuss and decide on strategies for continuing LPEP interventions as regular activities in those districts and roles and responsibilities of the government and supporting partners for such continuation.
The LPEP pilot project aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, cost efficiency and efficacy of chemoprophylaxis as a leprosy control strategy in three districts in Nepal from 2015 – 2018. By the completion period of the project, more than 98% of the index cases were covered and there has been the increased promotion of early case detection in all three districts. The government has taken the ownership of the LPEP program and has also planned to replicate the program in eight additional districts. The project also provided evidence to stress that there has not been adverse effects of Single Dose Rifampicin (SDR) administration and the integration of LPEP into routine leprosy control program is contextually feasible.
Similarly, some facilitating factors for the sustainability of the LPEP program were suggested by the participants on the discussion. Capable and motivated staff were identified as a key factor for successful completion of the LPEP pilot project and that they will require refresher training as well as periodic supervision from their department for efficient implementation of LPEP as a routine program. Availability of medication and other logistics in sufficient quantity was another facilitating factor for the LPEP pilot project which needs to be checked and balanced by concerned authority to avoid a gap in the treatment procedure.