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Since the last decades of the 20th century, NLR Nigeria has been supporting the leprosy control activities of the State Health Ministries in 13 States in the North Central, North West and North East of Nigeria through the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Offices and 10 leprosy referral hospitals. On a national level, NLR Nigeria has been committed to the activities of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP) and invested considerably in the establishment and development of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Centre and TBL Hospital in Zaria.

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Photography: Jan Joseph Stok

Ongoing transmission

The introduction of the Multi-​Drug Therapy has brought the number of new cases every year back from 63.000 in 1993 to 2,983 in 2014. In 1998, Nigeria achieved the elimination target of less than one case per 10,000 inhabitants. However, since then the number of new leprosy cases in Nigeria only slowly decreased. The number of registered new leprosy cases is on the decline in Nigeria, but child and impairment proportions remain high and are not decreasing, pointing at ongoing transmission and an operational nature of the decline in newly registered cases.


One of the major challenges in current leprosy control programs is to maintain know-​how and experience in leprosy management under relatively low prevalence conditions. NLR Nigeria focuses on further development of a referral system which is ‘slimmer and smarter’: leprosy services in the 13 NLR supported States increasingly focus on fewer Multi-​Drug Therapy (MDT) clinics with better trained General Health Workers in the General Hospitals and few Primary Health Centers. NLR Nigeria encourages the Nigerian government to take further ownership of the leprosy program by imbedding the program in the regular Health Care services. Besides routine activities, NLR Nigeria focuses on innovative projects that focus on early case detection and prevention of disabilities.

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Photography: Jan Joseph Stok



Project description

Innovation in Jigawa In an effort to detect leprosy early Jigawa State implements an innovative approach in which leprosy clusters are identified. These clusters are screened by trained community volunteer teams, consisting of persons affected by leprosy, traditional healers and birth attendants. This innovation has led to a spectacular increase of diagnosed patients.
Strengthening referral hospitals When general health workers, patent medicine vendors and traditional healers suspect a persons has leprosy, they refer the person to referral hospitals where specialized care for new and ex-​leprosy patients is provided. This includes surgery, medicines and the provision of assistive devices.
Capacity building of the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program (STBLCP) NLR Nigeria sponsors doctors and other health workers to build their capacity during an intensive training at the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Centre in Zaria. This fits in the “slimmer and smarter” approach that focuses on fewer MDT clinics with better trained General Health Workers in the General Hospitals.
Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Project in Barkin Ladi NLR Nigeria has developed a CBR approach in Barkin Ladi focusing on the participatory identification of the extent of disability in (rural) communities, its causes and implications for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their environment. The process is implemented by existing (local) government officers, members of the community and local Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs).
New approaches to break stagnant number of cases Persons with health problems, especially in the rural areas, often visit first a patent medicine vendor or traditional healer instead of a doctor. NLR Nigeria provides a tailor-​made training to these groups in the suspect and referral to specialized hospitals of persons that present with the symptoms of leprosy.
Smartphone app diagnostic tool for skin diseases This project is focussing on tool development to support case detection and diagnosis of leprosy, other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and various skin diseases. Through the smartphone app, health providers are expected to acquire improved knowledge and skills concerning common and HIV-​related skin diseases, and to better suspect of leprosy and other skin-​related NTDs for referral.

Office information

Country Director:

Dr. Tahir Dahiru

Number of employees:


Contact information:

NLR Nigeria

30 Da Chibi Rwang Street
Off Artiku Street

Rayfield, Jos
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+234 (0)909 497 7500
+234 (0)805 637 7735
Further contact details of our office in Jos can be obtained
via contacting the office per mail or phone.

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