ILEP and its Members have been very involved in the development of the new Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Roadmap.
With the NGO NTD Network (NNN) partners we have worked closely with the World Health Organization’s NTD Department to ensure that the Roadmap has a clear focus on NTDs, like leprosy, that have consequences in terms of disease management, disability and inclusion. We have also worked closely with the Global Leprosy Programme on the content of the disease-specific pages in the Roadmap.
The Roadmap will not be finalised and adopted until 2020, but Dr Erwin Cooreman has shared with us what is expected to be the final leprosy content of the Roadmap. Annex 2 contains the overall Roadmap targets. Some of the more notable targets, from the leprosy perspective, are:
- Number of countries that adopt and implement integrated skin NTD strategies; and
- Share of countries including NTD interventions in their package of essential care services and budgeting for them.
Leprosy is one of the three disease targeted for elimination (that is, interruption of transmission). The specific target is that the number of countries with zero indigenous cases will rise from 50 in 2020 to 120 in 2030.
The leprosy specific pages of the Roadmap carry much more detailed information. Here there are three targets for leprosy for 2030:
- Annual number of new cases detected down to just over 62,000 (a 70% reduction).
- Rate per million population of Grade-2 disability down to 0.12 (a 90% reduction).
- Rate per million children of new child cases down to 0.77 (a 90% reduction).
The targets are followed by detailed assessments of the current status and the actions required if the targets are to be achieved. ILEP recommends a close study of these pages which will govern WHO’s approach to leprosy over the coming decade.