Netherlands Leprosy Relief/Leprastichting

Sector in which the organization works:


Short description of the organization and its work to control and eliminate NTDs

Mission of Netherlands Leprosy Relief

Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) is a Dutch NGO founded in 1967, and has since developed into one of the leading organizations in the area of leprosy control. NLR combats leprosy via early detection, treatment and rehabilitation, and aims to remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from independent participation in society. Leprosy is an important cause of disability, and to enhance the effectiveness of the projects and programmes supported by NLR, rehabilitation activities are directed towards alleviating disability in general, i.e., including all who are disabled, regardless of the cause.

International Scope of NLR’s Work

NLR assists and encourages government health services in 15 endemic countries to remain vigilant and keep available the skills and facilities needed for early diagnosis and treatment. We provide training, advocacy and monitoring and introduce innovations to boost the effectiveness of leprosy control programmes. We promote local ownership of leprosy control by encouraging national and local partners to provide staff and resources needed for implementing routine leprosy control programmes. Meanwhile, our focus is shifting towards medical and technical support, training, monitoring, research and the introduction of innovations. 

We therefore make efforts to ensure that:

  • every new patient is diagnosed and treated as early as possible, before disabilities occur;
  • people affected by leprosy are trained and supported in preventing disabilities;
  • people with disabilities due to leprosy have access to mainstream and disability-specific services and can participate in Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) and in the wider community and society;
  • people with disabilities, irrespective of the nature or cause of their disabilities, as well as their organizations, are empowered to advocate for their rightful access to all mainstream and disability-specific services and to equal opportunities for development and participation in society;
  • ​scientific research contributes to the effectiveness of leprosy control, prevention of disabilities, rehabilitation and inclusion of people affected.

NLR and Scientific Research

In 2013, together with its partners ALM, GLRA and TLM Canada, NLR started the Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI), a joint fund which provides a structural method for collaboration in the funding of leprosy-related research.

Additional resources will be actively sought for larger research projects and for projects that go beyond the scope of the joint fund, including crosscutting projects involving leprosy and other disabilities or neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis or diabetes. The LRI is guided by a Steering Committee; all research proposals will be screened and projects monitored by an independent Scientific Review Committee. 

Facts and Figures on NLR 

  • NLR was founded in 1967.
  • 18 staff at the head office in Amsterdam.
  • 7 regional offices on 3 continents with 140 employees in 15 endemic countries.
  • 92,471 beneficiaries in 2013.
  • NLR is member of International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC).

Program Name

Leprosy control and rehabilitation /inclusion of people with disabilities