Global Leprosy Programme

Development of Guidelines for the diagnosis, the treatment and prevention of leprosy

The Global Leprosy Programme (GLP), World Health Organization, has started in December 2016 the process to develop the first WHO guidelines for leprosy, to address the areas of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease. This guideline is being developed following the GRADE methodology.

Global Leprosy strategy

As part of that process GLP has set up a Guidelines Development Group (GDG) consisting of 22 persons who are either representatives of the academia, civil society, associations of persons affected by leprosy and national/regional leprosy programme managers to discuss recommendations on the basis of the review of related scientific literature and on considerations related to service delivery and acceptability.

The Chair of the GDG is Professor J. Grosset and the deputy-Chair Professor Roger Chou who will also act as methodologist to facilitate the formulation of the recommendations. The GDG composition takes into consideration gender and geographical balance, though a more prominent role has been given to the South-East Asia Region in light of the high contribution to the global burden. The GDG members from the academia are not main authors of any of the key literature published on new diagnostics, new treatment regimens nor on chemoprophylaxis’s for leprosy to avoid bias interpreting the results of the literature review. The members have an extensive exposure to leprosy and/or neglected tropical diseases and/or tuberculosis and they are epidemiologists, public health experts or experts in basic science/laboratory research.

The GDG met on the 30-31 of May in New Delhi, India to prepare recommendations in the mentioned areas of leprosy. A draft of the guidelines document to be shared with an internal WHO steering committee and with an external Review group of leprosy experts for their inputs before being submitted for final clearance to the Guidelines Review Committee, WHO HQ.