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Digital care for people suffering from leprosy complications

Learning from an intervention during COVID-19 can be scale-up for other NTD 

This is the learning from a pilot intervention between ALO (Advancing Leprosy and Disadvantaged Peoples Opportunities Society)  and TLMI-B during COVID-19 (7 months of 2021)


Connecting between people suffering from leprosy complications,  leprosy specialists, family members, and leprosy people organization (LPOs)  at the time of movement restriction due to the COVID pandemic 

Understand the feasibility and result of modern technology for virtually serving the persons who are suffering from leprosy complications, particularly the elderly, women, children, those residing in an inaccessible region, and those with mobility issues.


Approximately 2500 persons in Bangladesh require leprosy complication care per year.

Only major 6 leprosy hospitals are providing care located in 5 districts. 

Service hospitals are positioned in specific geographies, imposing time, travel hassle, and financial difficulties on patients.

Patients are ignorant of doing regular self-care, their relatives also not felt the need, and are unable to provide regular care without external support and follow-up.

Hospital care is becoming more limited due to lack of leprosy expertise, not being integrated with the health system,  and funding issues of both Government and Non-government leprosy hospital 
People suffering from leprosy complications, living in remote and out of self-help and Self-care groups are the most sufferer
Person with disability, women, elderly, and children can not come or are unwilling  to the hospital  due to distance, travel hassle, daily income loss, travel cost, culturally different, detached  from family, 

COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the existing problem of accessing care for leprosy complications.

Our approach to overcome the challenges: 

Partnership between TLMI-B, Sasakawa Health Foundation HF,  ALO, and local leprosy People Organization (LPOs)
Community Resources Person (CRP-staff of LPOs), skilled project staff, and leaders of LPOs prepared a list of people who usually seek admission to leprosy hospital for complication service and live very far from the Hospital and are unable to travel.
CRPs, leaders, and field staff oriented on the digital service system and ensure smart mobile with mobile data.
CRP visited persons with leprosy complications at home and used digital video calling platforms like WhatsApp and Imo to connect with doctors of TLMI-B.
The doctor did a consultation with the person and eligible family members,  provided prescriptions to them distantly manageable, and refers if non-manageable complicated.
Engage family members, LPOs leader, CRP for further follow-up.
Digitally we serve 120 people and as a support team received 300 calls from people and family members who received digital care.

Our approach in Diagram


Finding, Opportunities and learning

The total number of Mobile Phone subscribers reached 18,100000 (181.53 Million)  at the end of November 2021. 
Mobile networks cover 99% of geographic area and 59% people use mobile, 41% use smartphone.
About 82% of Self-help group members are using mobile and 24% have a smartphone
TLMIB working with 1500 SHGs and their 100 federation and National level register organization called ALO.
Most of them are suffering from ulcers and 70% of them expressed improvement and practicing self-care  
Cost-effectiveness and time-saving service with the limited resource as NGO-managed Leprosy hospital and service provision are gradually reduced due to fund crisis and leprosy expertise.
Diversified services can be offered, and experts can connect with women, the elderly, children, and people in remote.
Digital care for leprosy can contribute to both service providers and receivers from various perspectives 

Click to know More 

NNN Conference 2022

NTD Innovation Prize 2022

the Digital Leprosy Complication Care Project