Spotlight Series: Leprosy

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: BRA-29

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for the Training of Personnel in the Control & Research of Leprosy
Institution: Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima (ILSL)

Reference Number: BRA-57 

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for the Control, Training and Research of Leprosy in the Americas
Institution: Fundação de Dermatologia Tropical e Venereologia “Alfredo da Matta” (FUAM)


Category 1 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 17 (SP 20-25)

Dr. Nicholls

Dr. Ruben Nicholls, Advisor, Neglected Infectious Diseases, is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.

The main activities of these Centres include: (1) providing clinical training on management of leprosy, laboratory diagnosis, prevention of disability due to leprosy, and rehabilitation; (2) providing technical support to other national leprosy programs of the Region; (3) sharing expertise and best practices at key international leprosy meetings; and (4) conducting research focused on leprology.

The Centre at the Fundação de Dermatologia Tropical e Venereologia “Alfredo da Matta” (FUAM) has provided support to the Haitian national leprosy program including staff from the Centre travelling to Haiti in February 2018 to assess the implementation of the national leprosy program; staff providing technical support in December 2018 for a national training in leprosy; and staff providing training in November 2019 to three leprosy clinical experts and a national leprosy program manager from Haiti, on the management of leprosy complications and prevention of disability.

The Centre at ILSL provides training sessions to health care professionals, including laboratory training in April 2018 for five laboratory specialists from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and a two-week clinical management training of leprosy and its complication to four health professionals from Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti and Peru. In 2019, the Centre hosted a training session on neurological nerve function assessment and management of reaction for participants from Argentina, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The Centre also collaborates with BIREME to maintain an updated virtual Library for leprosy.

Both Centres provides technical collaboration with staff travelling to leprosy-endemic countries as requested by local health authorities in order to discuss and revise the implementation of the Global leprosy program strategy and to provide in country training to strengthen clinical skills in leprosy. The Centres also participate in Brazil’s national drug resistance monitoring program to assist with strengthening the drug resistance surveillance network within the country and for the entire Region.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.