Our worldwide work

In 2016 NLR was active in 11 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. The situation is different in each country and each individual issue requires attention. Our approach, therefore, is always tailored to specific circumstances. In one country we may focus on the identification and treatment of leprosy and in another on disability and inclusion. The largest numbers of new leprosy cases were found in India, Brazil and Indonesia.

Africa

The combined approach concerning persons affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF) was implemented as a pilot in Zambezia province in 2015 with financial support of Lepra, and adopted in Niassa and Nampula provinces in 2016. This resulted in support to a total of 100 self-care groups (SCGs), 368 hydrocele operations in the 3 provinces and 137 health workers being trained in leprosy and LF-related matters. The project in Zambezia benefited from an exchange visit with India; an experienced staff member of Lepra India visited the Zambezia project to promote mutual learning and knowledge exchange regarding the combined approach.

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In 2016, NLR Nigeria successfully applied for a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) programs in Nigeria. Besides, NLR has continued to explore new avenues to design more innovative approaches in both leprosy control and disability, focusing on quality health and disability programs and the promotion of Nigerian ownership.

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Asia

Improving quality of leprosy services, integrated self-care projects, strengthening of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) using a right-based approach and the rollout of LPEP were the main areas of focus in 2016.

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After having withdrawn its support in 6 provinces in 2015, NLR Indonesia provides direct support to 14 provinces. In 2016 NLR also guided the phasing out process in 2 other provinces, i.e. Aceh and Banten.

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In collaboration with the Liliane Foundation and local partner organizations, NLR Mekong conducted exploratory missions in 3 countries: Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Findings from the missions will be used as input for the annual plan 2017 and NLR Mekong’s strategy for the coming years. This is an improvement on previous years’ practices.

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NLR in Nepal is increasingly focussing its efforts on innovative approaches for leprosy control and the promotion of disability inclusive development.

The Leprosy Post-Exposure Prophylaxis project is running well, with over 31,000 contacts of more than 1,200 leprosy cases (called “index cases”) enrolled and given a single dose of rifampicin since its start in 2015. This newly introduced method of leprosy prevention through chemoprophylaxis continued to be a major focus, and further expansion in other districts has been prepared.

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South-America

The mid-term evaluation of the NHR Brazil program in March 2015 led to more focus in the scopes of projects as well as the geographical areas in 2016, resulting in a more effective use of the available resources. A total of 18 field projects were supported in 6 different states in 2016. Important progress was also made in the organization’s transition to a local NGO, which is expected to come into effect in 2017.

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The field of leprosy work is continually changing. In some areas, the number of new cases has decreased to the extent that new approaches are needed to maintain clinical skills among leprosy workers, or to find new cases. The strong realization that we will not achieve a world without leprosy for a long time, unless we switch to active case detection methods and to measures of preventing leprosy, is also new. The positive experiences with the introduction of preventive treatment for leprosy among contacts using a single dose of the antibiotic called rifampicin have encouraged us to promote the scaling up of this new method to national levels in the countries involved.

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