NLR India programs take stigma and its impact into consideration and involve measures to reduce it that refers to stigma as a barrier to case detection, to disclosure of leprosy status for contact screening and PEP, to treatment adherence, to participation in self-care and self-help groups, to socio-economic and political participation and claiming rights, as well as to mental well-being of persons affected by leprosy. Through our projects, we assess current situation and assess level of stigma and promotion of mental well-being in project areas, and through stigma reduction strategies, we facilitate in mainstreaming persons affected by leprosy & living with disabilities in society, for improvement in their well-being by supporting them in educational, livelihood and vocational skill building program in partnerships with institutions, government and donor agencies. Under COR-NTD project, in collaboration with Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and local NGO, we piloted innovative intervention for improved mental well-being of persons affected by leprosy and LF, in 2 districts of Jharkhand and UP.
Frequent turnover of officials looking after leprosy programs in particular at district and block levels, and quality oversight by leprosy focal point at block/district level is a key challenge that hampers smooth functioning and proper implementation of NLEP activities. Logistic supply chain management of SDR is another challenge in implementing LPEP in most states, as loose rifampicin is not readily and adequately available in market currently. Besides, streamlining of block level NLEP reporting through Nikusth, and lack of dedicated manpower and resources for data operation, and reporting is another challenge. Other challenge regarding disability related program is the accessibility of services for disability management, availability of new upgraded assistive devices and self-care kits, timely referrals and rehabilitation services.