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NLR is well positioned in Nepal, with a country office in Kathmandu and 2 small field offices in the Eastern Region (Biratnagar) and the Far Western Region (Dhangadhi). These two offices are running the two field projects that directly cover 25 of the 75 districts of Nepal.

NLR is operating in Nepal since 1977. The initial focus was on the construction of health facilities and the implementation of leprosy control activities. Since 1986, though, NLR has worked not only on disease control but increasingly on Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), while maintaining a focus on persons with disabilities due to leprosy.

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Photography: Henk Braam /​NLR

Leprosy control in Nepal

Despite considerable progress made, Nepal remains with more than 3,000 newly reported cases every year in the top 10 of countries worldwide where most new leprosy cases are found annually. Reducing the disease burden and achieving district level elimination remains a major challenge due to the difficult geographical and socio-​economic conditions of the country and issues such as a low priority for leprosy at periphery level, overburdened focal persons, rotating health staff and difficulty of reaching marginalized populations.

General disabilities

Since 2005 NLR has broadened its support to general disabilities regardless of causes. The principles from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) are strongly guiding us in our work in Nepal. Key focus is on human rights, inclusion as well as social participation and provision of quality services and livelihood opportunities.


In 2011, a national population census identified in total 513.321 persons with disability in Nepal, equaling 1,94% of the population. Due to poor educational chances, almost non-​existent employment opportunities and a weak social security system, persons with disabilities tend to live in poverty facing social exclusion. The ratification by the Nepalese government of the UNCRPD in 20092010 has provided more opportunities to address the rights of persons with disabilities. NLR lobbies and cooperates with the National Federation of the Disabled (NFDN) to ensure that persons with disabilities, including due to leprosy, can attain their rights based on this Convention and other laws and policies.

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Photography: Sandeep Shrestha /​Henk Braam



Project description

Support to the government leprosy control program (LCD) This project focusses on support to the national level Leprosy Control Division (LCD) of Nepal. To strengthen the national leprosy control unit, NLR provides technical expertise in the form of expert staff, and training of health workers. We also provide funds to implement active case detection activities, monitoring of the program activities, and drugs for complication management. In addition, NLR supports in research and studies to ensure evidence based practices.
LPEP Together with the Ministry of Health, NLR has started the LPEP (Leprosy Post-​Exposure Prophylaxis) Project in the 3 districts Jhapa, Morang en Parsa. By providing family members, neighbors and friends of leprosy patients with one tablet of rifampicin (antibiotic), they have 60% less chance of getting leprosy. The project is successful: so far 13,503 contacts of leprosy patients have received the prophylaxis. The project period is 20152017 and the project is fully financed by Novartis Foundation.
Reaching inclusion by rights holder groups and Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) NLR works with the National Federation of the Disabled (NFDN) for strengthening the national network of persons with a disability, which promotes the rights of persons with disabilities in Nepal. The project aims to enhance integration of persons with disabilities so they can entertain their rights as every member of society. Through development of disability inclusive model villages, capacity building of local Disabled People’s Organizations (e.g. in organizational management or lobby and advocacy) and small-​scale financial support for self-​help groups, we enable them to effectively advocate for their rights and claim the provisions of the government.
Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Project With Nepal National Social Welfare Association (NNSWA) and Nepal Library Foundation (NLF) we are involved in improving access to services and utilities for persons affected by leprosy and persons with disabilities, by for instance creating disability friendly comprehensive WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), provision of assistive and protective devices and livelihood support such as saving credit schemes, inclusion in cooperatives, vocational training, etc.
Disability inclusive relief & rehabilitation after the earthquake During the year 2015 a devastating earthquake hit the country leaving behind thousands of casualties and deaths and converting the infrastructures and habitats into complete ruins. NLR works with local partners Progressive Disabled Forum (PDF) and Integrated Rural Development Centre (IRDC) for the rehabilitation of families with persons with disabilities in Gorkha, one of the earthquake hit districts.
Strengthening leprosy referral hospitals Historically NLR has provided intensive support to the official leprosy referral clinics of the Eastern Region and Far-​Western region of Nepal. The clinics have in 20142015 been integrated in the government system and receive NLR supports the leprosy clinical work through support to the human resources of the clinics, medical supplies and support to patients for referrals for treatment and surgeries.
Inspire2Care Since 2015 NLR Nepal entered in a joint 5-​year project ‘Inspire2Care’ with Karuna Foundation and Liliane Foundation in the area of disability prevention and Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) for children and adults with disability. The project aims to establish a sustainable CBR model at Village Development Committee (VDC) level in Jhapa district, which can be duplicated at larger scale. People with disability due to leprosy are included among persons with disability in general as target group. This allows NLR to achieve its goal where leprosy will be regarded as any other disease and persons with disability as equal members of society.


Office information

Country Director:

Himalaya Sigdel

Number of employees:


Contact information:

14 – Park Lane,
Jwagal – 10, Lalitpur,
E-​mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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