Disability is not only about physical dysfunction but has a broader scope, including stigma, discrimination, and social participation restrictions. Stigma, discrimination, mental wellbeing and certain aspects of inclusion are addressed in Research Priority Area #4. Important underlying causes of physical dysfunction include neural and ocular impairments.
The LRI will therefore support studies addressing the following topics:
- Identify new treatment options for NFI and reactions and test efficacy;
- Study risk factors and pathophysiological/ immunological mechanisms required to improve the detection and management of reactions, nerve function impairment (NFI) and neuropathic pain;
- Evaluate interventions for prevention of disability (POD) and inclusion (e.g. self-care groups and family support) together with other disabling diseases (e.g. NTDs), especially regarding feasibility, cost effectiveness and integration into in national leprosy policies and programmes or into general wound and limb care programmes (and vice versa);
- (Prevalence) surveys of persons with disabilities related to leprosy - other NTDs may be included alongside leprosy.