Slideshow – First Country Model Approach to Zero Leprosy: Nepal

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A nurse at a local health post in southern Nepal chats with a team from the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy and the National Leprosy Programme of Nepal. Nurses in posts like these provide on-going care for leprosy patients in their own communities.
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A doctor reviews leprosy patient records at a health post in southern Nepal.
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Doctors consult a patient about his medication regimen in a health post in southern Nepal. Leprosy patients take an antibiotic course called Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) to cure the disease.
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MDT is made freely available to all leprosy patients around the world through a partnership between Novartis and WHO.
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A doctor tests a leprosy patient’s hands for nerve function loss at a local health post in southern Nepal. Infection by Mycobacterium leprae, the bacteria that causes leprosy, damages nerves, causing symptoms like loss of sensation and loss of muscle strengths.
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A doctor checks a patient’s hands for loss of muscle strength at a local health post in southern Nepal.
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A doctor tests a nerve in a patient’s elbow to see if it is enlarged or painful, both symptoms of the disease.
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Doctors test a patient’s hands for loss of muscle strength due to nerve damage.
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A young woman named Mangu receives treatment for leprosy at her local health post in southern Nepal. Once a month she visits the clinic for a refill of the antibiotics she's taking to treat the disease and to discuss her symptoms with an auxiliary health worker. The majority of leprosy patients in Nepal receive treatment at small local clinics like this one.
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Razan, a young Nepali boy being treated for leprosy, visits a community health post for a monthly check up and refill of his medication.
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Razan speaks with the doctor about the skin patch on his arm that led to his leprosy diagnosis.
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Razan’s mother brought his younger brother, Nitis, to this appointment to have him checked for leprosy as well.
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Doctors have identified a skin patch on Nitis’ face that could be a symptom of leprosy and are testing the patch for sensitivity A patch with loss of sensitivity would indicate that Nitis also has leprosy.
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The doctors gently touch Nitis’ face as he points to the area they’ve touched. This test will give the doctors an idea of the sensitivity of the affected area on Nitis’ face, helping them determine the likelihood of leprosy infection. The doctors conclude that there is no loss of sensitivity and that Nitis likely has another skin disease, not leprosy.

Courtesy of: Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

On request by the Ministry of Health of Nepal, the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy (GPZL) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Leprosy Programme conducted a two-week long country review in Nepal in July 2019. This review was conducted in close collaboration with the National Leprosy Program staff, local NGOs (including ILEP partners and organizations of persons affected), and WHO Nepal. The mission consisted of field visits and a stakeholder review meeting to take stock of the program’s current status and define key priorities for the program.

Based on findings from the field visits and stakeholder review meeting, a Zero Leprosy roadmap for Nepal was developed by a broad range of stakeholders that set 2030 targets and interim milestones for 2022 and 2025.

On 17th July, these findings and milestones were presented to the Minister of Health and other senior officials of the Ministry. These representatives from the ministry expressed appreciation for the review team and all participating partners for the clear results of the mission.

Additionally, the ministers promised to set in motion the abolishment of the only remaining law in Nepal that discriminates against persons affected by leprosy.

Findings of this first country model approach will be presented on the 10th of September during the International Leprosy Congress in Manila. The GPZL wants to sincerely thank the Nepal team for hosting the review team. Their support was excellent and of great importance.

If you are a national program manager and are interested in learning more about GPZL’s country model approach or requesting this support for your own country, please visit our Expression of Interest form.

Also see

The Partnership’s Mission to Nepal

A Leprosy Advocate, Who Was Once a Patient, Talks About Stigma, Empowerment, and Treatment

Related 

Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

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