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Leprosy programs in Vietnam started in 1981 and cover 2 areas of activity: disease control and rehabilitation of people affected by leprosy. Leprosy is in Vietnam well under control as a public health threat and the number of new cases has reached a steady low endemic level. Therefore NLR has phased out its financial support for most disease control activities and focuses its support on the plight of the large number of people with disability due to leprosy and a few persistent leprosy pockets in some high-​endemic provinces in the Central Highlands.

Because the country has high leprosy impairment rates, there are large numbers of people with serious permanent disabilities for whom long-​term disability and rehabilitation support is imperative. There are at present still about 12,000 people affected by leprosy who continue to need rehabilitation and disability services. Main co-​financers of the supported rehabilitation activities in Vietnam are Peerke Donders Stichting, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF), Achmea Foundation, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery (NPL) and Liliane Foundation.

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Photography: NLR

Mekong region

NLR is active in all 6 countries of the Mekong region: Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and China. These 6 countries share the Mekong River but are very diverse in ethnicity, cultures, languages and stages of economic development. The health condition of their populations reflect the respective stages of their economic development, with Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos still ranking among the world’s least developed countries. Leprosy is prevalent in all of the countries, with Myanmar harboring the most patients.

Leprosy disease control activities in the last 2 decades have been successful in the Mekong region and the number of new disease cases has declined spectacular in particular in Vietnam and Thailand. An exception is Myanmar, which is still classified as a leprosy endemic country.

In contrast, the proportion of people who are permanently affected by the disease and in need of rehabilitation and disability services is high in the whole Mekong region and to develop the quality of their lives remains a significant problem. Within the Mekong region, Vietnam has the highest rate of people living with disability including persons affected by leprosy. NLR has recently broadened its support focus in the Mekong countries to also include general disability regardless of the cause. NLR’s work has brought tremendous change in the lives of thousands of people in this region.

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Photography: NLR



Project description

Leprosy Disability Rehabilitation Programs

NLR works with all 20 leprosy treatment hospitals and centers in Vietnam to support the provision of rehabilitation services (orthopeadic devices, food relief, housing and sanitary units and scholarship) to people affected by leprosy and their families.

Integrated Rehabilitation Project

Our integrated rehabilitation projects in KonTum and Gia Lai attempt to bridge the gaps existing in rehabilitation services for people with general disability and persons affected by leprosy.

Disability, Poverty and Education Project

This project aims to improve socioeconomic circumstances for low-​income families with disabled family members in rural communities in Ca Mau province, Vietnam.

Child focused disability & poverty partnerships

NLR and Liliane Foundation cooperate with local partner organizations to support children with disability and their families to access comprehensive services for health care, education, livelihood and social inclusion. In Vietnam we have 10 partnerships.

Orthopaedic Shoe Technology Project (These Shoes are made for Walking)

NLR together with Liliane Foundation, Fontys Universiy in The Netherlands and the Vietnamese Training Center for Orthopedic Technologists in Hanoi established the first international training course on Orthopeadic Shoe Technology for young technicians from Southeast Asian countries; and will support the setting up of the first orthopedic shoe services in Southeast Asia.

Office information

Regional Director:

Jan Robijn

Number of employees:


Contact information:

Room 307 & 308, E1 Block,
Trung Tu Diplomatic Compound No. 6,
Dang Van Ngu Street,
Trung Tu Ward,
Dong Da District
Phone: 0084 24 3225 2851
E-​mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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