Leprosy Post Exposure Prophylaxis (LPEP) project
The Leprosy Post Exposure Prophylaxis (LPEP) project is an operational research commenced in year 2014 in six countries, where further reduction of new case detection rates has been a challenge. In Sri Lanka, the project commenced in year 2015, along with Tanzania, India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Indonesia, with Brazil and Cambodia joining in year 2016. Internationally, the LPEP project is funded by Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, and the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute (STPH) provides technical support and data analysis for the project for Sri Lanka and assesses the programme with specific focus upon reporting and recording system to ensure the consistency of approaches, procedures and indicators across LPEP project countries. FAIRMED Sri Lanka, as a member of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), has committed to provide technical support and channel the Novartis Foundation’s funds to the project in Sri Lanka.
The LPEP project has the primary objective of “evaluate[ing] the impact on Leprosy incidence and feasibility of contact tracing and single dose Rifampicin as leprosy post – exposure prophylaxis under routine programme conditions”. This primary objective was to be achieved through the attainment of three specific objectives, namely:
1. The routine implementation of Index case’s contact tracing and administration of LPEP in a structured fashion.
2. The feasibility evaluation of the implementation of LPEP in terms of compliance and other factors.
3. Impact assessment of Index case’s contact tracing and LPEP on the incidence of leprosy through improved disease surveillance and reporting system.
During the pilot study period from 2015-2018, the project will attempt to record the experience and lessons learnt from the implementation districts of Puttalam and Kalutara, based on which an island wide intervention may be designed and implemented in the future. The project will continue until the end of year 2018.