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Brazil is still the second most leprosy-​endemic country in the world and has the highest rate of new case detection (15.3 per 100,000 population) among all major nations. Coupled with the fact that 11 other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are present in the country along with a total disability population of 24% (45 million people, NLR is still needed in Brazil. This is especially true in the less developed regions of the North and Northeast where all of NLR’s projects are located.

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Photography: Marcelo Londono

Joint projects

The country office in Brazil has worked extensively over the past 5 years to build partnerships with multiple sectors of society after many years of exclusive work with government leprosy programs. The office now has a strong network of university partners and social movements as well as growing initiatives with Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs). This allows for a wide range of initiatives that take a holistic look at the needs of persons affected by leprosy, other NTDs and disabilities.


To prevent disabilities, NLR’s support is crucial for the production and distribution of orthoses and basic footwear as a strategy to minimise and prevent leprosy sequelae. Among the projects supported, the states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Piauí, Tocantins, Amapá and Rondônia all included activities to support users with customised orthotics. NLR Brazil will continue support for this service until a point at which there is greater access and coverage within the National Health System.

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Photography: Marcelo Londono



Project description

Action research and university extension projects with a range of Brazilian universities

The Federal University of Ceará deserves special mention due to the long and varied history of joint interventions. However, the Pernambuco State University and others in Bahia, Rondônia and Piauí provide a range of partners in projects that conduct research and extension projects that have a tangible impact on the lives of persons with leprosy and other NTDs.

Inclusive self-​care and self-​help groups

For many years, NLR and the other ILEP members in Brazil have seen self-​care groups as an essential tool for improving the lives of people with leprosy. As many of the groups here have evolved into self-​help groups over the years, we have also pushed for new and existing groups to broaden out to other members with NTDs and disabilities as a means for collective empowerment.

Disability Inclusive Development

Given the historic resistance to the term ‘Community-​Based Rehabilitation’ in Brazil, the programme has been working with the Ministry of Health and university/​civil society partners to develop Brazilian models of this strategy with a more neutral name. Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI) funding has been a key input to further this cause.

Office information

Country Director:

Maria Solange

Number of employees:


Contact information:

NHR Brasil /​Avenida Humberto Monte 2929
Torre Norte Sala 1109
CEP: 60.440593
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit the website of the regional office for more information: http://​www​.nhrbrasil​.org​.br/

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