Your Gifts at Work: October-December 2021

Jan 12, 2022

First Leprosy-Specific Vaccine to Resume Trials

After delay due to COVID-19 and other factors, we are obtaining approval from Brazil’s regulatory body, ANVISA, to begin the Phase 1b/2a clinical trial for LepVax, the first leprosy-specific vaccine. American Leprosy Missions has been developing Lepvax for nearly 20 years. Now, with our partner Fiocruz, we look forward to resuming the trial process in April. Your faithful partnership has made this next step possible—thank you!

Leprosy Vaccine

After finishing Phase 1a trials in 2019, we’re ready for the next step in testing the LepVax vaccine, thanks to your support.

Milestones for India WASH Project

We’ve reached several landmarks in our women-led water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project in Bihar, India. A household survey is complete, along with registering people suffering from leprosy and a related disease, lymphatic filariasis. These activities provide us with critical information about how best to serve these communities. We also have feedback from 130 villages about their WASH priorities, giving us a clearer vision for the work to come. Thank you for supporting these projects that keep communities healthy and prevent diseases like leprosy!
CPRs visit homes

The community resource people (CRPs) visit homes in their area to talk about disease prevention and sanitation practices.

Updated Water System for IME Kimpese Hospital

Our Christian partner hospital in DR Congo, IME Kimpese, experiences frequent disruptions to its water supply. This issue affects basic hospital operations like surgeries and cleaning schedules. Thanks to your gifts, we are refurbishing Kimpese’s backup water system so the hospital can continue its work when the public water source is unreliable. Thank you for supporting our partner hospitals and their life-saving work!
Kimpese Water Tank

All the rust and damage on Kimpese’s largest tank has been addressed so the back-up water system can support the hospital.

New Tools for Tackling Disease

In December, our Director of Research and Innovation, Dr. Sundeep Chaitanya, traveled to India and Nepal to train several of our partners on Biomeme qPCR systems and the MinION platform. These portable tools are a faster, easier way for technicians to diagnose COVID-19 or detect drug resistance in a leprosy patient. Since these tools can be used in the field instead of a laboratory, people affected can get the tests and treatment they need more quickly. Official registration is underway so our partner hospitals can use Biomeme qPCR systems to diagnose COVID-19 in India and Nepal.
Biomeme qPCR device at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

Lab personnel learn to use the Biomeme qPCR device at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital, our Christian partner in Nepal.