Zero Transmission

Leprosy can only be eliminated if we can prevent people from developing leprosy and if we can stop the transmission of the leprosy bacteria. NLR’s programme on Zero Transmission of leprosy combines years of organisational experience in the field of leprosy control with promising innovations that help to prevent leprosy and diagnose and treat patients as early as possible.

Leprosy Control Program

Leprosy can only be eliminated if we can prevent people from developing leprosy and if we can stop the transmission of the leprosy bacteria. NLR’s programme on Zero Transmission of leprosy combines years of organisational experience in the field of leprosy control with promising innovations that help to prevent leprosy and diagnose and treat patients as early as possible.

 

The target of leprosy elimination in Nepal was achieved in 2009 and leprosy elimination at the National level was declared in 2010. Although the prevalence of leprosy has declined, the new cases detection rate (ANCDR) is not reduced as expected indicating that additional strategies are required to halt transmission and to reduce the disease burden due to leprosy. In this context, NLR Nepal introduced a new program in 2015, Leprosy Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (LPEP), which started as a pilot project in three districts of Nepal (Jhapa, Morang, Parsa).

LPEP Pilot Project

Major Objective of LPEP pilot project was to decrease the risk that direct contacts of persons affected develop leprosy themselves. A proven game-changer in the fight against leprosy transmission is a widely available antibiotic: a single dose of rifampicin (SDR-PEP). Preventative treatment for leprosy. SDR-PEP is given to direct contacts of newly diagnosed leprosy patients to decrease their risk of developing the disease. In 2015, we implemented the programme in Nepal in close collaboration Ministries of Health, other ILEP (International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations) members, under the coordination of and supported by Novartis Foundation.

SDR-PEP

With inspiring results from the pilot project, the government of Nepal has included the LPEP in its routine leprosy program. A single dose of rifampicin (SDR) is given to contacts of leprosy patients, based on age and body weight (150 mg, 300 mg, 450 mg, 600 mg), through the leprosy control programme in three districts in Nepal with a total population of 2,511,296. Target groups of this project are contacts (household members, neighbours and social contacts) of leprosy-affected persons who were diagnosed since July 2013. SDR distribution to contacts of leprosy patients is done through the routine contact examination programme. SDR is given after complete screening for exclusion criteria such as persons with leprosy or TB, who are <2 year of age, pregnant, have rifampicin allergy, kidney or liver disease.