LEPRA (registered as LEPRA Society in 1989), is in existence since 1989 and has earned the reputation of being one of the leading organisations working for people affected by leprosy. In the last three decades, it has provided treatment and care to people affected by leprosy as well as those suffering from lymphatic filariasis (LF), tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and eye problems. For LEPRA, Leprosy remains the key focus and providing end to end services to the patients especially in hard-to-reach remote areas forms the core of all the projects of LEPRA.
While dealing with leprosy, one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), LEPRA’s technical expertise has aided not only in providing case detection, treatment, disability care, rehabilitation, community mobilisation; but also, holistic end to end services and approaches in tackling the diseases through counselling, advocacy and envisaging the welfare of those affected.
This approaches have resulted in LEPRA being able to provide new paradigms in health care (some of which have been adopted by the state governments), reach the hard-to-access and remote areas, envision the wellness and the welfare of the affected by also sensitising people and disseminating information among them about the diseases, tackling prejudice and discrimination faced by people who are subjected to social exclusion and ensuring a well-meaning life of inclusion in the societal mainstream with emphasis on dignity and productivity. LEPRA works closely with community-based organisations, helping them in advocacy to fight for their rights and entitlement for improving their living conditions.
The geographical span of LEPRA’s work covers 141 districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. And LEPRA is an affiliate of the global Lepra family and a member of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy organisations (ILEP).
Leprosy has been the core area of work over the last three decades at LEPRA. The organisation’s forte lies in disability prevention, care and management as well as specialised treatment of reactions. It extends treatment and care through the referral centre, a one-stop treatment hub for leprosy and LF located in the states it works in (situated in LEPRA’s location or in collaboration with district hospitals).
At present, LEPRA has 19 referral centres’ (RC’s) across the states of its operations. These RCs are directly managed or jointly run with partner organisations and integrated within government health facilities and located in the most endemic areas of the states. With the main objective being to provide facilities for specialised treatment and complications and management of disabilities through Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR), the referral centre provides a range of services like treatment of complications (reactions, neuritis); providing physiotherapy for pre and post reconstructive surgery cases and persons with disabilities; management of plantar ulcer; offering specialised services for difficult-to-diagnose cases; supplying specialised appliances/supplementary aids; providing protective Multi-cellular Rubber (MCR) footwear; counselling and promotion of self-care practices; supporting the prevention of disability (POD) clinics as part of DPMR; capacity building training of health facility staff and coordinating and networking.

Taking into view, the ever-changing public health scenario and keeping in view the needs of the Leprosy affected people, LEPRA has added another highlight to the services it offers, by setting up a state-of-the-art COVID testing facility in its research campus (BPHRC) in Hyderabad, Telangana. Through this intervention, LEPRA is providing the much-needed free COVID testing to the leprosy affected people both by in-house testing and mobile testing services in the state of Telangana. “Putting people first” while adapting and moving forward with times is what makes LEPRA an unique entity and a pioneer in the fight against leprosy.
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