Our approach to Lymphatic Filariasis

Lepra offers a range of services and interventions for lymphatic filariasis (LF) that transform the lives of people affected by this disease.

Our technical experts work directly to support people with LF, as well as supporting national programmes to address the disease through the health system. Our interventions range across the full continuum of care, from vector control and Mass Drug Administration (MDA) to complication management and rights-based advocacy. 

Together, we can break the cycle of ill health, isolation and poverty.

LF affects more than 36 million people and is costing developing economies hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It is a leading cause of avoidable disability (WHO LF Progress Report 2016).  Without proper care, LF leads to chronic organ damage, mental and physical health problems and sexual disabilities. These in turn result in social isolation, economic hardship and family breakdown for people affected. 

Lepra breaks the negative cycle of disease, poverty and prejudice for people with LF. Working with our wide network of grassroots level healthcare workers and community volunteers, we find, treat and rehabilitate people with LF.   

Our LF programmes are based on:

  • A holistic range of LF services and interventions
  • Bringing in the voice of people affected
  • Evidence-based programming
  • Grounded in communities
  • Working in hard-to-reach areas 

What we do

  • We find, diagnose and care for new LF cases
  • We work with local health systems to ensure quality Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention for people affected by LF by supporting a minimum package of care
  • At the heart of strengthening the health system is capacity-building of frontline workers, both public and private, to plan MDA campaigns and to detect and care for people with LF
  • People affected and their families learn how to manage their disease, so they avoid complications and further disabilities
  • We promote behaviour change and social mobilisation to interrupt the transmission of LF
  • Having LF is not just about having a disease that affects someone physically. LF affects a person’s mental health, their economic and their social opportunities. Therefore, we also support counselling, livelihood development and rights-based advocacy 

Why our approach is different

  • Lepra is a recognised leader in the field for our combined leprosy-LF approach, which tackles two neglected tropical diseases with shared interventions and resources
  • We bring our experience in eliminating leprosy and bringing in the voice of people affected
  • We operate a grassroots level by using a bottom-up approach to strengthen local health systems 
  • Our LF work concentrates on the country with the highest single LF burden: India, where 30% of the global LF burden is placed
  • Our approach is evidence-based, for example by collecting data on patients through our unique LF patient card or through KoboCollect
  • Lepra’s technical and research expertise on LF supports stakeholders at local, sub-national and national level. 
  • The Blue Peter Health Research Centre in India is part of Lepra and its research capacity continually informs our LF programme


You can make a difference

Your support is vital in helping us continue our work to help the children, women and men affected by neglected diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.

Make a donation

Fundraise for us