Objective: Improve access to care for leishmaniasis patients, including vulnerable groups, for the various forms of the disease (visceral leishmaniasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, PKDL, and HIV-VL)
Project start: July 2021
LeishAccess is a three-year project implemented by a consortium made up of experts and key health institutions leading access within the countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
The project aims to:
- Facilitate the uptake and adoption of new diagnostics and treatment options for visceral leishmaniasis, post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), and co-infection of visceral leishmaniasis and HIV (HIV-VL)
- Prove the efficacy and tolerability of thermotherapy for the treatment of uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis cases and improve its access under conditions of routine disease control
- Fill knowledge gaps through operational research in the access to visceral leishmaniasis diagnosis and treatment in vulnerable groups
- Advocate and communicate to increase national and regional support towards improved access to leishmaniasis diagnosis and treatments
The main outcome for the project includes increasing use of optimal visceral leishmaniasis diagnostics and treatment combinations, specifically liposomal amphotericin B & miltefosine for HIV/VL, miltefosine & paromomycin for visceral leishmaniasis, and paramomycin & miltesfone or liposomal amphotericin B & miltefosine for PKDL.
The LeishAccess project will collect evidence to determine if thermotherapy offers an alternative to treat uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis cases to improve access by using a safer, shorter, easy-to-use and field-adapted intervention. Additionally, the project will provide more understanding on the characteristics of selected endemic communities and how this impacts their access to treatments.
Political leadership (national and local), policy makers, focal NTD committees in Ministries of Health and community leaders are being engaged and involved as crucial partners and changemakers in this project.
The project in Eastern Africa contributes to the global World Health Organization NTD Roadmap target for the control and elimination of visceral leishmaniasis and control of cutaneous leishmaniasis as a public health problem by 2030. The project also supports the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by encouraging the prioritization of leishmaniasis diagnosis and treatment in government health plans as well as catalyzing the necessary political and financial support crucial in efforts to ensure that patients access new diagnostics and treatments for leishmaniasis.
This project (grant RIA2020S-3301) is part of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership Association (EDCTP2) programme supported by the European Union.
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