Lepra was founded as a research organisation and remains one of the world’s leading authorities on leprosy.

Today research still forms an important part of our work, carrying out both scientific and field research to further our knowledge of neglected diseases and the effects they have on poor communities.

Despite leprosy being one of the world’s oldest known diseases there is still much to learn about the disease. We still don’t know exactly how leprosy is transmitted from person to person.

Despite these huge gaps in knowledge, leprosy receives only 0.2% of global funding for neglected disease research and development, $7.4 million USD annually.

Tuberculosis (TB) remains the single biggest infectious killer worldwide after HIV/Aids. However, there is no effective vaccine for high TB burden countries. According to The World Health Organization there is a critical funding gap for research and development in TB; an extra US$ 2 billion per year is needed.

To tackle some of these problems we carry out much needed research into neglected tropical diseases and TB to advance global knowledge and gain a better understanding of their behaviour.

Our research centre

The Blue Peter Public Health Research Centre (BPHRC) was established in 1997 following a highly successful campaign on the children’s TV programme Blue Peter.

Our research centre combines scientific expertise and state of the art research facilities with close contact and relationships with communities affected by diseases.

This direct contact with communities enables us to improve quality of care, and techniques for treating and managing disabilities.

We also research the impact of diseases on the economic and social well-being of those affected. This helps us to identify the wider needs of people and communities affected by disease and design projects to respond to community needs in more appropriate and effective ways.

We publish our research in international journals and also publish a scientific journal, Leprosy Review, which disseminates global research findings and best practice widely amongst health sector organisations.