This week I have the privilege of visiting with partners in Cebu, Philippines, to initiate a project recently awarded funding from Novartis Global Foundation.
This multi-faceted project is centered on regular evaluation of leprosy patients and their household members by clinical examination as well as integrating tests of their immune response into this process. This will enable us to determine the acceptability and feasibility of testing in current settings, advancing toward the longer term goal of using tests to facilitate the streamlined referral of suspected patients to leprosy experts.
The need for such advances is evident when the history of the study volunteers is revealed, with many having had symptoms for prolonged periods of time before being properly diagnosed. In addition, the difficulties that many people endure in order to have their families attend the clinic highlights the need for simplified outreach programs in the continued battle toward elimination of leprosy.
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Posted by Malcolm Duthie, Ph.D., Senior Scientist/Principal Investigator