The elimination of leprosy at the 19th International Leprosy Congress (ILC) held in Beijing, China from September 18 – 21, 2016. Updates in 11 abstracts on four Novartis Foundation-supported leprosy initiatives in low- and middle-income countries will be showcased in scientific sessions.
Abstracts presented at the ILC demonstrate progress on the key programs under the Novartis Foundation strategy toward zero transmission of leprosy. The strategy was launched in 2014 to prioritize early detection and treatment, contact tracing and preventative treatment, strengthening of surveillance systems to become action-oriented and developing tools for faster and earlier diagnosis.
“The ILC is a great opportunity to present results of our leprosy strategy gaining momentum, share learnings, and highlight the research we support on a diagnostic development and epidemiological modeling, which can contribute to the design of future strategies to finally make leprosy history. I am particularly pleased to share emerging evidence on our multi-country Leprosy Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (LPEP) program, which at mid-point is already demonstrating the feasibility of integrating its strategy of contact tracing and preventative therapy in national control programs,” said Dr. Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation.
Novartis Foundation-sponsored projects presented at ILC scientific sessions:
“This year we commemorate 30 years of Novartis Foundation commitment in the fight against leprosy,” reflected Ann Aerts; “therefore the ILC is timely to review the progress we are making together with our partners toward zero transmission of leprosy. It is also a fitting time to look ahead and envision a coalition to bring the anti-leprosy community together to go the last mile in the fight against leprosy.”