Integrating WASH and NTDs: Transmission of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which include leprosy, is closely linked to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Preventing leprosy disability relies heavily on access to clean water, sanitation, and the ability to practice good hygiene and selfcare. ALM, LEPRA Society and HRL are collaborating in an integrated WASH and NTDs project in in Bihar where trained local women educate households at-risk on WASH and prevention of NTDs, and facilitate homebased care for leprosy and lymphatic filariasis disability in 130 endemic villages.
Detecting subclinical infection: ALM and SIHRLC, Karigiri are testing an early diagnostic, point-of-care, field-friendly, real-time, mobile qPCR platform in laboratory, hospital and field settings to detect viable M. leprae (RNA) in the skin and blood of household contacts of leprosy cases. Detection of subclinical infection prevents asymptomatic cases progressing to overt disease, and guides chemoprophylactic interventions by differentiating individuals requiring prophylactic single dose Rifampicin from those needing six months of paucibacillary MDT.