Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP)

Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP)

LEAP Platform logo

Founded: 2003, Khartoum, Sudan

60 members from over 20 institutions

The LEAP platform aims to strengthen clinical research capacity, which is lacking in part due to the remoteness and geographic spread of the patients, most of whom live in the most impoverished regions of Africa. The platform also is a base for ongoing educational cooperation between the countries in the East African region and standardization of procedures and practices within the region, as far as is possible within the confines of local regulations. LEAP evaluates, validates, and registers new treatments that address regional needs for visceral leishmaniasis.

LEAP Platform Map

‘The Good Clinical Practice training presented me with a chance to not only expand my knowledge and skills but also handle study participants appropriately. It is a positive step towards becoming a globally certified clinical trial expert.’

Dr Eleni Ayele, Leishmaniasis Research and Treatment Centre at the Gondar University Hospital in Ethiopia


LEAP Newsletter, Issue 8

Previous LEAP Newsletters

Leap Newsletter, Issue 7, October 2021

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 6, November 2018

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 5, October 2016

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 4, November 2015

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 3, September 2014

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 2, April 2014

LEAP Newsletter, Issue 1, June 2013

DNDi Newsletters LEAP

Newsletter No. 18, June 2009
LEAP: A step into the right direction VL clinical studies in East Africa

Newsletter: No. 16, June 2008

Newsletter: No. 8, January-March 2004

Newsletter: No. 7, September-December 2003

LEAP Platform Brochure

LEAP Brochure, April 2011
English Deutsch

Event-related publications

LEAP@WorldLeish-6 programme, May 2017

LEAP@WorldLeish-6 agenda, 24th May 2017

LEAP@WorldLeish-6 agenda, 26th May 2017

Platform updates

2019 Highlights

  • 7 active clinical trial sites (sites belonging to platform/network members and used for DNDi studies) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda; 1 site constructed and equipped for clinical trials in Sudan
  • 125 people trained, mainly on data management, good clinical and laboratory practice, and diagnostics
  • 1st AfriKADIA symposium held in Nairobi with key stakeholders on ‘Translating research results into policy for control and elimination
    of leishmaniasis in eastern Africa’
  • Policy change: following revision of the VL guidelines in Uganda in 2018, the Ministry of Health released the 2019 Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of VL in Uganda

2018 Highlights

  • 5 clinical trial sites were active in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan.
  • 163 people were trained, including investigators, lab technicians, nurses, and pharmacists, on Good Clinical Practice, Good Financial Practice, and DHIS2, an open-source data platform to manage health information.
  • Supported the launch of the revised visceral leishmaniasis treatment guidelines in Kenya, with SSG&PM as first-line treatment, and supported the revision of visceral leishmaniasis guidelines in Uganda.
  • Launched the 10-institution AfriKADIA Consortium in Ethiopia, whose main objective is to find improved treatments and diagnostic tools for visceral leishmaniasis in eastern Africa.

2017 Highlights

  • 5 clinical trial sites were active and 1 under construction in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan
  • Outside of the clinical trials, 1,084 people were treated and 2,898 were screened
  • Following the dissemination of the HIV/VL study results, support for the development of a new policy by WHO
  • Results from the HIV VL LEAP 0511 clinical trial were presented during a meeting with the Ethiopian authorities and key stakeholders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


  • Stakeholders meetings were held in Amudat in Uganda and Kacheliba, in West Pokot county in Kenya to disseminate the results of the LEAP 0208 and LEAP 0714 clinical trials. The results showed that miltefosine is safe in children and that treatment outcome is improved when allometric dosing is used. Community leaders including elders, political and religious leaders, and health workers attended the meetings.
  • The LEAP members participated in the WorldLeish-6 congress held in Toledo, Spain, the “City of Three Cultures, from 16-20 May, 2017. The meeting is an international congress on leishmaniasis. It is is held every four years in a leishmaniasis-endemic country.
    • LEAP presented a total of eight abstracts for both oral and poster presentations and participated in a parallel session on platforms for the research and control of leishmaniasis. The 24th LEAP meeting was hosted on 15 May, 2017, at the sidelines of the WorldLeish 6 congress. This year, the meeting was keen on discussing and reviewing current and planned activities. “KEEP MOVING FORWARD”, was the theme of this first meeting after the launch of LEAP 2.0, a restructuring of the platform to enable it adjust to the expanding clinical trial needs in the region.
    • The meeting was attended by 56 participants including LEAP members, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and members of the DNDi Rio team, who are members of the redeLEISH Platform, a network that brings together leishmaniasis experts in Latin America.
    • Dr Jose Postigo, the WHO Head of the Leishmaniasis Control Programme gave the key note address on ‘Leishmaniasis in Africa: Is elimination possible? The WHO approach‘, concluding that there was still a lot more to be done in controlling leishmaniasis before embarking on elimination in eastern Africa.

New platform & training

  • The Infectious Disease Data Observatory (IDDO) visceral leishmaniasis (VL) data sharing platform was officially launched during the 24th LEAP meeting. IDDO, a pioneering VL data repository, is an initiative of a team from Oxford University in partnership with DNDi.
  • 120 people were trained, including investigators, lab technicians, nurses, and pharmacists on Good Clinical Practice and Others received training on how to better communicate on their projects. Financial support for seven long-term trainings (Master’s degrees or diplomas) was also provided.

2016 Highlights

  • The LEAP Platform handled 6 clinical trial sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan, as well as maintaining clinical trial sites even though they were not involved in R&D activities. Outside of the trials, 1,156 people were treated, and 3,069 screened.
  • Launch of LEAP 2.0: the platform was restructured to adjust to expanding clinical trial needs in the region; with expansion of disease areas – from VL only to CL and PKDL – extension of member countries (Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia), and for a focus on new areas of activities (access, Phase I studies, data sharing)

2015 Highlights

  • The 22nd LEAP meeting took place in Khartoum, Sudan in October 2015, with 68 participants, alongside the 22nd LEAP Principal Investigators (PIs) Meeting and the first Project Advisory Committee (PAC) of the AfriCoLeish Project ‘new combination treatments for VL in Africa’ and fexinidazole studies were completed.

Contact the LEAP Platform