The Centenary of the Leprosy Relief Association (Lepra)-a moment for celebration and reflection†.
The year 2024 is the Centenary of the foundation of the Leprosy Relief Association (Lepra), formerly the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA). The name of the organization changed to the LEProsy Relief Association (LEPRA) in 1976 but has been known as Lepra since 2008. Over the years it has worked closely with members and office holders of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Its work has encompassed activities from the earliest initiatives to ensure appropriate living conditions for those with the disease to the development of leprosy chemotherapy. However, this has now evolved into a strong partnership between the UK- and India-based Lepra hubs, which are carrying out research and public health initiatives ranging from elimination of prejudice against those with leprosy to adopting the recently launched WHO programme for skin NTDs to facilitate integrated control and management regimens. The fight against leprosy has always been a partnership between a wide variety of disease-specific NGOs, health-care workers and international health agencies. The story of Lepra illustrates the central role of these partnerships and national as well as international collaboration.