Several organisations and institutions are working on establishing new strategies for new case detection. These include reaching and monitoring people who have been in close contact with the diagnosed person, developing targeted community-based health education, identifying effective methods to encourage early voluntary reporting, detection of leprosy infection at a sub-clinical stage, researching transmission of leprosy, including causes of delay, as well as investigating of risk factors of leprosy (why some people are at higher risk than others).
Macro and micro epidemiology of leprosy in Cebu – Leonard Wood Memorial Centre for Leprosy Research
Evaluation of the qPCR in household contact monitoring – Laboratório de Hanseníase Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ)
A comparison of three types of targeted, community-based health education aimed at promoting early detection – The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI)
Comparison of 3 types targeted community based health education – The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI)
Delays in diagnosis & treatment, Nepal – International Nepal Fellowship (INF)
Contact cohorts – The Leprosy Mission Bangladesh (TLMB)
Earlier detection of leprosy – The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI)
Active case detection, tracing household contacts and mapping of risk factors – Deutsche Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe (DAHW) and Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI)
ILEP Member projects
ILEP Members worldwide are working on various projects related to transmission. Many projects and programmes are focused on improving and strengthening new case detection and early case detection services. For example, in many projects surveillance, follow-up of (former) patients and screening tests are carried out. Improving quality, access to and coverage of leprosy services may also reduce transmission and is a subject of many projects. Complicated cases or people that are not easily diagnosed are referred to specialized hospitals. Furthermore, attention is given to integrated leprosy care and community participation for identification of new cases, including screening of contacts. Many projects give special attention to vulnerable groups like women and children.
Many ILEP Members provide technical and financial support to national programmes. Many projects engage local stakeholders and governments. In addition, special attention is given to improving skills and capacities (training) of public health staff, doctors, nurses, students, dermatologists, village leaders and volunteers. In some cases, training and resources are communicated online through web applications and by SMS. A smartphone app to help health workers recognize skin diseases and symptoms of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has also been developed.
Some projects not only focus on leprosy, but additionally focus on people affected by lymphatic filariasis, tuberculosis, diabetes and/or Buruli Ulcer. This is sometimes because local governments run combined programmes.
ILEP Members are not only collaborating with each other on some projects, but also work together with other partner organisations, government institutions, universities and interest groups for and by persons with disabilities.