This five-year project seeks to interrupt the transmission of leprosy in two districts each in the three countries with the highest global burden using a new, more powerful preventive chemotherapy regimen for leprosy named PEP++, combined with innovative approaches to intensify case detection of leprosy. The project targets close contacts (household members, family members, neighbours and social contacts) of new leprosy patients, because they have the highest risk of developing the disease. Through this project, we expect that over 600,000 people will be treated preventatively and the number of annual new cases within project areas will have dropped by 50% at the end of the project period.
The project is conducted in India, Brazil and Indonesia because 81% of all new leprosy cases world-wide are detected in these countries. In each country, two high-endemic districts or municipalities have been selected: Chandauli and Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh State, India, Fortaleza and Sobral in Ceará state, Brazil, and Pamekasan and Pasuruan in East-Java Province, Indonesia.
The project is funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery through its Dream Fund. The execution of the project leans on a substantial number of local partners.