The Technical Department of NLR has up-to-date knowledge on all aspects of leprosy, which is embedded in the programs we support. We use this in-depth knowledge of leprosy to advocate for access and quality of services, and in training, expert advice, research and innovation to promote prevention, early detection and treatment of leprosy
1) Prevention: We aim to minimise the risk of leprosy-related wounds, infections and complications, and to prevent these from resulting in permanent disabilities.
2) Rehabilitation: We facilitate access to assistive devices (e.g. special orthopaedic footwear, crutches, wheelchairs, prostheses) and other medical rehabilitation services (e.g. surgery, physical therapy) to promote recovery of function in damaged feet and hands.
3) Advocacy and the reduction of stigma: We promote acceptance and increased social participation of people with disabilities and commitment to equal opportunities and rights. People with leprosy-related disabilities should have access to general rehabilitation facilities and organisations and to mainstream development programs.
4) Empowerment and Inclusion: We are expanding our focus on community-based rehabilitation (CBR) as a strategy for inclusive development. We work together increasingly with non-government organizations, communityservices organizations and disabled people’s organisations (DPO’s) in addition to supporting government health and social services.
5) Research and innovation: Despite its long history, many questions regarding leprosy still remain unanswered, mainly the diagnosis of sub-clinical leprosy, the way it affects people’s lives and the best ways to deal with the disease and its consequences. In addition, changes in health policies, new developments, etc. make continuous adaptations to leprosy services necessary. For these reasons, NLR considers research and innovation as very important components of its work. NLR has a long track record in supporting and facilitating high-quality scientific research both nationally and internationally in field programs, communities affected by leprosy and leprosy treatment centres. NLR staff are also involved in designing, coordinating, leading or supporting research projects. They have considerable expertise in research design, data collection methods, analysis, scientific paper writing and research training. Recent research topics include prevention of disabilities, treatment of nerve damage, reduction of leprosy related stigma and prevention of leprosy through giving prophylactic treatment to contacts of new leprosy patients.
6) Harmonization of policies and programs with Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and UNCRPD: We develop our policies and programmes in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CRPD), aiming to combat neglected tropical diseases and their consequences and to contribute to poverty reduction, promotion of human rights and social inclusion of persons affected by leprosy and persons with disabilities.