LEPRA Society, last year, completed 25 years of its operations in Odisha. The journey, so far, has been a meaningful and rewarding one for the simple reason is that the region has reached over one million persons affected by leprosy, directly and indirectly, and implemented a number of successful projects of other public health importance. All leprosy focused projects, without any exception, covered comprehensive services such as Case Detection, Multi-Drug Treatment (MDT), Prevention of Disability (POD), Reconstructive Surgery (RCS) and Socio-Economic Rehabilitation (SER) till the integration of Leprosy with General Health Care Services in 2004. From the inception till 2002, all activates of the region was confined only to leprosy control, through six projects. The only exception was piloting of a combined leprosy – tuberculosis project in 1996 at Koraput area with the support of Department for International Development (DFID). The state, however, never lost focus of leprosy despite the fact that after 2002, other demanding health priorities were included in its programme ambit. Till 2005, the region was implementing programmes directly, but from 2006 onwards it incorporated the partnership mode of operations starting with the Mayurbhanj Community Health Project (MICHP) and subsequently as Sub–Recipients of 3 Global Fund supported projects. Partnership mode of operation is basically implementing the programmes through partner Non-Government Organisation (NGO)/ Community Based Organisation (CBOs)/ Networks support.


Thematic Involvement in Odisha

Leprosy ( 3 projects)

LEPRA Society shouldered the responsibility (on behalf of five International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations) to strengthen and integrate leprosy services in the General Health Care Systems, and to ensure community participation for sustainable services. Under this responsibility, the organisation supported the state leprosy cell in capacity enhancement of all staff including doctors and MBBS students, data surveillance & management, Operational Research, Multi Drug Treatment (MDT) management, Prevention of Deformity, and Case Diagnosis & Care. The Odisha State was covered through 16 District Technical Support Teams. From April 2012, the organisation is continuing its leprosy control support to the state in the form of Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) through its Technical Resource Unit (TRU).

1. LEPRA Bolangir Leprosy Eradiation project
2. LEPRA Koraput disability care Project
3. Technical Resource Unit (TRU) and Strengthening Referral System (SRS)

HIV/AIDS (3 projects)

Over the years, LEPRA Society has implemented a number of HIV/AIDS programmes in the state. The programmes include; pilot Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) project at Bhubaneswar covering two slums of Bhubaneswar city, Community Care Centre (CCC) at Koraput, CCC at Bolangir, Targeted Interventions (TI) Female Sex Workers (FSW) at Koraput (continuing from April 2006), TI-IDU at Bhubaneswar (continuing from April 2006), Link Workers Project at Koraput, the SRH project covering four slum pockets of Bhubaneswar city.  As support to the OSACS, the region facilitated and coordinated CD4 Count Test of 300 positive persons at Blue Peter Public Health Centre (BPHRC) during 2007. The organisation is continuing as a valued member in the state level TB-HIV Coordination Committee from 2006. From 2009 till 2013 the region continued as a member in the Academic Committee of the State Training and Resource Centre (STRC). At present the state is the Sub –Recipient of two Global Fund projects, namely, VIHAAN, the Care and Support project and Hifazat, a Learning Cite for TI IDU programme.

1. Vihaan
2. Targeted intervention Project, Koraput
3. Targeted Intervention among Injecting Drug Users in Bhubaneswar CITY

Tuberculosis (2 projects)

The state is having the experience of managing one Tuberculosis Unit (TU) in Malkangiri district, and two Designated Microscopic Centres (DMCs) at Junagarh and Koraput. Based on these experiences the state got the opportunity to implement the TB-HIV Co-infection project covering three southern districts namely Koraput, Rayagada and Malkangiri. At present the state is implementing the Axshya India Global Fund Tuberculosis Project (April 2010 to September 2015) as Sub- Recipient covering 11 districts through as many number of partner NGOs. The TB programmes cover diagnosis, Tuberculosis (TB) suspect referrals and sputum examination, sensitisation, imparting soft skills and improved civil society participation. The contribution of Axshya India TB project to State TB Control programme has been widely acknowledged. The contributions have been reported in Annual Report of Health and Family Welfare Department (2012-2013) and in all RNTCP Annual Reports of the state from 2012 to 2015

1. Axshya India TB Project, Odisha
2. Junlep Designated Microscopic Centre

Lymphatic Filariasis

The only Lymphatic Filariasis project is currently being implemented in Puri district. The project covers three out of eleven blocks of the district reaching a population of 4,36,529 (2011 census), spread over 77 Gram Panchayats. In order to ascertain the disease burden the project undertook a mapping exercise which was completed in 2009. The mapping exercise brought to surface over 13,000 Lymphatic Filaria (LF) cases in the above mentioned three blocks (out of 11 blocks of the district) against the reported 11,646 cases for the entire district. The project aims to reduce filariasis induced morbidity through promotion of self-care and increase community participation in prevention, control and management of lymphatic filariasis. Formation of Self- Support Groups (SSGs), self-care promotion camp, review & re-orientation of Self Support Groups, regular participation in Mass Drug Administration (MDA), socio-economic support to the needy and school education programmes are among the major activities.

Eye Care ( 1 project)

In order to provide eye care to persons affected by leprosy the LEPRA Mahanadi Eye Care project started in 2003 covering Sonepur and Boudh districts. The base hospital is located at Pandapalli village of Birmaharajpur block covering a population of 913,697. The project aims to eradicate avoidable blindness and to improve related socio-economic conditions of the affected people. The project offers Base Hospital Services (cataract, glaucoma, other minor services and surgeries, refraction and spectacle services), community outreach diagnostic camp, school screening programme, preliminary eye care services through Vision Centre, Health Education. The other eye hospital which is going to start, soon, is located at Junagarh of Kalahandi district. The building construction support has been provided by Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) and part programme support by Sightsavers.

1. Odisha Eye Care Programme
LEPRA Society operations in Odisha priority are to address health needs of people in an integrated manner with a view to maximise programme impact. These will be the guiding principles in the ensuing years and the region will put emphasis on quality and consolidation rather than expansion in terms of new ventures. At the end of March 2015, the PR, Child Rate and Grade-II Disability Rate is recorded as 1.23, 8.9 and 5.05 respectively. Hence, there will be renewed emphasis on the leprosy control activities and priorities on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).