Community members are screened for leprosy in Nyaung-U, Myanmar as part of the leprosy post-exposure prophylaxis (LPEP) program. People who have been in contact with diagnosed leprosy patients but are not showing any symptoms are offered a post-exposure prophylaxis (single dose rifampicin) which can reduce their risk of developing leprosy by 50-60%.
1 in 11 newly diagnosed leprosy patients are children, indicating continued transmission of the disease. Active contact tracing of newly diagnosed patients is a targeted strategy to reduce transmission of leprosy and to accelerate diagnosis and prompt treatment among those most at risk.
LPEP will run until 2018, with ongoing data collection to generate evidence on the most efficient way to operationalize contact tracing with post-exposure prophylaxis and its potential to interrupt leprosy transmission.