Combined approaches to prevention and management of disability
Leprosy shares many features with other neglected tropical diseases and diseases causing nerve damage (such as diabetes). One is that the physical needs of those affected are similar. We can tackle (prevention of) disabilities more effectively and efficiently by implementing combined approaches.
Seeking integration with other disease programmes
Under our Priority Programme we will use the experience we have with leprosy to combine with other prevention of disability programmes, as we are already doing in Mozambique. We assist people living with the effects of leprosy and lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Providing treatment and disability services
We do this by providing them with prevention of disability services through combined self-care groups, assistive devices, and facilitating access to hydrocele surgery for persons affected by lymphatic filariasis and reconstructive surgery for leprosy. It reduces their discomfort and physical burden, which often causes stigma and restricts people’s livelihood opportunities, and promotes mental wellbeing and social participating.