National Leprosy Program
The history of leprosy dates back centuries in this part of subcontinent. Different Christian Missionary organizations had used to provide leprosy in different high endemic areas in the country. Before liberation, in 1965 leprosy control activities started in Government sector through 3(three) Government leprosy hospitals, Dapsone mono therapy was used to treat leprosy patients at that time. The Govt. of Bangladesh started to expand leprosy services to 120 high endemic thanas (presently upazila) in phase wise manner by using MDT (Multi-Drug Therapy) in 1985. MDT was recommended by WHO (World Health Organization) for treating leprosy in 1982.
After adaption of WHO resolution to eliminate leprosy by 2000 AD, the Govt. of Bangladesh has revised of National Leprosy Elimination Programme (NLEP) and expanded the MDT services to all upazila in phase wise manner and covered the whole country by 1996. To achieve the time bound target of elimination the Govt. of Bangladesh has involved all the NGOs working in different endemic areas country by signing a memorandum of understanding with LCC (Leprosy Coordinating Committee) in 1994.
Bangladesh has achieved national target of <1 case of leprosy per 10,000 population in 1998, two years ahead of WHO’s fixed target for leprosy endemic countries to achieve this by 2000.
After launching HPSP (since July 1, 1998), the Director PHC and DC (Primary Health Care and Disease Control - later only PHC) and Line Director, ESP (Essential Services Package) was the chief of NLEP and worked under the Guidance of the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) during the period of first sector programme-HPSP(1998-2003) and second sector programme- HNPSP (2003-2011). In previous sector programme during the year 2011-2016 Director, MBDC and Line Director TB-Leprosy was the chief of NLEP under the project HPNSDP (Health Population Nutrition Sector Development Programme). At present, National Leprosy Programme (NLP) is led by Director, MBDC and Line Director, Tuberculosis-Leprosy and AIDS/STD Programme (TB-L and ASP) under 4th HPNSP (2017-2022) (Health Population Nutrition Sector Programme).