Article reposted from the World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, Global Leprosy Programme
Dr Laura Gillini from the Global Leprosy Programme (GLP) in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the Country Office of Mozambique visited Mozambique between 14 and 21 February 2018. She was joined by Dr Emmy van der Grinten from the Accelerating Integrated Management (AIM) Initiative. They visited facilities in Maputo, health services in Cabo Delgado province and met dignitaries of Ministries of health and partners of the National leprosy programme led by Dr Francisco Guilengue under the supervision of the Director of Neglected Tropical diseases Dr Marilia Massangaie.
While the findings of the visits also identified challenges, the GLP commended the country for having started the implementation of the Global Leprosy Strategy 2016‒2020 focusing on several key areas of interventions, namely: early detection through campaigns in high burden districts, improvement of the health information and surveillance system, the care and follow up of persons affected by disabilities through the set-up of self-help groups and promoting project of community-based rehabilitation.
The country is counting on a special, three-year project worth US$ 150,000, of which the first year was about to finish. This project is funded by The Nippon Foundation as part of the Bangkok Declaration Special Fund. They also count on the support of the AIM Initiative for the set-up of a new DHIS2-based reporting system and for strengthening human resources at national level with a data manager. The country also appreciates the collaboration of The Leprosy Mission Mozambique for piloting the new information system, supporting the active case detection campaigns and for the training of affected persons involved in setting up self-care groups. Other partners include Netherlands Leprosy Relief which provides technical assistance at central level as well as in the highly endemic provinces of Nampula, Zambesia and Niassa, the Damien Foundation supporting four districts in the province of Sofala and the Italian Association Raoul Follereau (AIFO) which supports leprosy work in the province of Manica.
While concrete suggestions were made to improve both some of the services of the programme and also to better focus some of the activities under the special project, GLP was pleased to notice the commitment of the National Leprosy Programme, the work in line with the global strategic policy directions and was happy to perform the visits jointly with an important partner in the area of health information system and mapping such as AIM.