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Organization Contact Information

Name: LEPRA Society (India)
Street 1: PB No. 1518, Krishnapuri colony
Street 2: West Marredpally
City: Secuderabad
Province: Andhra Pradesh
Post Code: 500 026
Country: India
Phone: +91 40 27717600
Organization Email:
Web Site:
Other Online Presence:

Focal Point Contact Information

Salutation: Dr
First Name: Ranganadha Rao
Last Name: Pemmaraju
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +919000111272

Alternate Focal Point Contact Information

Salutation: Dr
First Name: Subbanna
Last Name: Jonnalagad
Title: Director, BPHRC
Phone: +919000111273

General Information

Board Constituency: Developing Country NGO
Is your organization legally registered in your country: Yes
If yes, please enter your registration number:
Organization Type - Primary: Non-Governmental Organization
Organization Type - Secondary: Other Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
Organization Description:
LEPRA India is registered as LEPRA Society, under societies registration act working in the areas of public health supporting health providers in public and private sector and mobilizing communities and working with people affected to seek better living opportunities and fighting for their rights with a Mission “LEPRA India works to restore health, hope and dignity to people affected by leprosy, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other allied diseases associated with poverty.” Community LEPRA India has operational presence in 5 states of India i.e., Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand and reaches out to 12 million people. LEPRA Society works with the Central & State Government in various disease control programme.

TB is one of the oldest diseases, continues to claim roughly 2 million lives yearly. India has the highest number of TB cases in the world. LEPRA Society's expertise in the area of public health laid way to initiate TB interventions in operational areas. The core activities of LEPRA Society are carried out as per the guidelines of National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) of the Government of India. During a decade long service in the field of leprosy, LEPRA Society recognized the need and importance of extending its services to allied diseases and thus began providing support to programmes in the areas of TB and HIV/AIDS.

LEPRA Society initiated RNTCP activities in four different ways, they are Direct participation in service delivery, Capacity building, Field research, Communication and advocacy. Further, LEPRA operates in 6 out-patient clinics in 6 projects, 3 in-patient wards with a total of 70 beds in 3 projects, 6 laboratories in 6 projects and 21 microscopy centers in 7 projects including a state of art research centre, Blue Peter Health Research Centre (BPHRC), accredited by Central TB Division, Government of India to diagnose the MDR TB cases in four districts (Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari (EG) and West Godavari (WG) of Andhra Pradesh. LEPRA Society initiat
Do you know about the UNHLM declaration:

Specializations / Areas of Work

Delivery of health services and care
Research and Development
Technical Assistance

Other Organization Information

Total number of staff in your organization: 100 +
Number of full-time staff who are directly involved with TB: 51 - 99
Number of part-time staff who are directly involved with TB: 51 - 99
Number of volunteers who are directly involved with TB: 0
How did you hear about the Stop TB Partnership: Involvement in TB control provision
If you were informed or referred by another partner of the Stop TB Partnership please tell us who:
Why do you wish join the Stop TB Partnership: Involvement in Stop TB Working Groups
Are you a member of a Stop TB national partnership: India
Are you in contact with your national TB programme: Yes
Please tell us how your organization is contributing to your country's national TB control plan:
LEPRA Society transformed its role at national level, during the year [June 2011], LEPRA Society nominated in working group to develop a National Strategic Plan (2012-17) for Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme on Case Finding and Diagnostics including Laboratory up gradation.

International HIV/AIDS Alliance identified LEPRA Society for developing position paper in HIV-TB co-infection where in set of good practice programming standards for TB/HIV integration and a TB strategy to guide Alliance work and a reference document for other NGOs. Currently, LEPRA is supporting RNTCP with its direct participation in implementing treatment Units and Designated Microscopy centres (DMCs), MDR-TB Culture and continue it support to RNTCP in its operational areas. Added it will contribute at national /state level through its Axshya project under GFATM R 10. As a member in NGO TB consortium, it will work with national partners in voicing civil society response towards health particularly TB, involvement of Civil society organizations and participation of persons affected by TB in health programs and advocacy initiatives. At national level, it will continue to share organization experiences in influencing policies and strategy of RNTCP at various forums.

Geographical Reach

Which country is your headquarters located in: India
Which countries do you do operate in:
(This includes countries you are conducting activities in)


Please tell us how your organization will contribute to the Global Plan to Stop TB by briefly describing its involvement in any of the areas of work listed below:

TB Care Delivery:
LEPRA India in partnership with Government of India and respective state Governments participates in state run Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) in 21 Microscopic centres located in the operational area and reaches out to 2.1 million people including 1 million urban population. The centres cater for educating community about TB, counsel the suspects with cough for more than 2 weeks for sputum examination and conduct sputum microscopy for diagnosis.
All sputum positive cases are administered for DOTS. The rest will be examined by a doctor and followed up by health workers. Clinically suggestive of TB among sputum negative cases will be treated with DOTS according to the standardised algorithm of diagnosis of TB approved by RNTCP.
2922 TB patients registered for DOTS in 2010 and were followed up with sputum follow up examination at specified intervals. The highest cure rate registered in the centres is 91% and all centres recorded a cure among more than 85% sputum positive cases registered for DOTS.
In two states, while working with different districts we found that case detection rates of TB is far less than 70% of expected norm. To improve political commitment members of legislative assembly (MLA) in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh were sensitized to review TB progress and performance of TB programme including drug availability in their respective electoral constituencies. This step left an MLA with information key to understand the incidence and impact of TB in their communities.
LEPRA India also has taken up responsibility of monitoring TB programme as a “TB Unit” a monitoring unit at sub-district level for ensuring achievement of all the five objectives.

Drug-Resistant TB:

LEPRA India while working as a partner to Department of Health under RNTCP through Designated Microscopic Centres DMC) has gradually started observing poor response to DOTS or relapse in a few cases after successful completion of DOTS. Keeping in the interest of the patients, the details of patient and DOTS information was discussed which led to a decision of conducting a Drug resistance survey in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with National Tuberculosis unit in 2002. The results of the study showed that 15% of patients had Multi drug resistant (MDR) TB bacteria. The study was done at LEPRA Blue Peter Public health and Research centre (BPHRC).
The Andhra Pradesh while taking up the challenge of MDR TB invited LEPRA India to carry out screening of MDR suspects in 4 districts (Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari and West Godavari) of Andhra Pradesh. 141 number of MDR suspects have been examined and among them 30 were found to be drug resistant. These patients received DOTS Plus at their respective locations.
Besides gold standard L J medium technique, the laboratory also is equipped to carry out molecular biology testing techniques like Line probe Assay and other diagnostic tests. This helped in assisting medical officers in diagnosing MDR TB in the periphery clinics. In order to facilitate early diagnosis for MDR TB, LERPA has invested in developing a Bio-Safety level -3 lab for MDR testing.
In addition to laboratory support to diagnostics of MDR TB, LEPRA clinics in Hyderabad also participate in clinical DOTS PLUS to provide patients second line regimen.
LEPRA India BPHRC also provides similar service to states like Sikkim and Karnataka.

LEPRA Society following the National guidelines of integrating TB and HIV components proactively converted 5 TB Microscopic Centres (MCs) into Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC). All HIV positive persons are verbally screened for cough and other cardinal symptoms of TB and tested for Sputum positive TB. All the TB patients under DOTS are screened for high risk sexual behaviour and referred for counselling and testing of HIV.
In addition to extending testing facilities, LEPRA Society participated in HIV-TB co-infection management projects using peer counselling as a strategy and employing people living with HIV and cured TB patients as counsellors for improving access to diagnosis and adherence to DOTS and Anti Retro Viral Therapy (ART). 140 HIV positive patients were treated with TB.
LEPRA Blue Peter Laboratory supports clinical management of people living with HIV with facilities of CD4 testing.

Fundamental Research:
The LEPRA Society Blue Peter Public Health and Research centre supports research in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Biology and Bio-chemistry departments for carrying out basic science research.
The key areas of research are:
• Rapid diagnosis
• Diagnosis of Extra Pulmonary TB
• Molecular epidemiology of TB
• Clinical isolates of M.Tb

The current research projects under progress are:
1. Protein phosphorylation in M.leprae and M.tuberculosis - its role in metabolism and pathogenesis.

2. Fresh insight into the etiology of extra pulmonary tuberculosis: molecular diagnosis and epidemiology.

3. Genetic, Molecular and immunological studies for understanding susceptibility to mycobacterium tuberculosis infection

Publications from the LEPRA India BPHRC
Totally 51 publications were published in International (40) and National (11) journals since 2000 to September 2011.

• Association of TAP 1 and 2 Gene polymorphisms with HIV-TB coinfection. Human Immunology 2011 (In Press). doi:10.1016/j.humimm.2011.07.304 Int.(50); Sharada RS, Surekha RH, Sumanlatha G, Subbanna J, Vijaya LV. Programmed Death 1 and Cytokine Inducible SH2-Containing Protein

• Dependent Expansion of Regulatory T Cells upon Stimulation with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Infect Dis (Advance Access published March 7, 2011). doi:10.1093/infdis/jir011. Int.(49); Periyasamy S, Dhiman R, Barnes PF, Paidipally P, Bandaru A, Valluri V and Vankayalapati R.

• c-Maf-dependent growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a CD14hi subpopulation of monocyte-derived macrophages. J Immunol 2010. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1003146. Int.(48); Dhiman R, Bandaru A, Barnes PF, Paidipally P, Valluri V and Vankayalapati R.

• “Vaccine for tuberculosis: Up-regulation of IL-15 by Ag85A and not by ESAT-6” Elsevier Tuberculosis 91 (2011) 136-139 Int.(47); Satya Sudheer Pydi, Anu Radha Bandaru, Sambasivan Venkatasubramanian, Subbanna Jonnalagada, Vijaya Lakhsmi Valluri

• Enhanced T Cell responsiveness to Mycobacterium bovis BCG r32-kDa Ag correlates with successful anti-tuberculosis treatment in humans. Elsevier Cytokine 52 (2010) 190-193. Int.(46); V. Hari Sai Priya a, G. Suman Latha a, Seyed E. Hasnain c, K.J.R. Murthy a, Vijaya Lakshmi Valluri a,b,*

• Glutathione-Redox Balance Regulates c-rel–Driven IL-12 Production in Macrophages: Possible Implications in Antituberculosis Immunotherapy. The Journal of Immunology, 2010, 184, 2918 -2929doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0900439 Int.(45); Alam K, Ghousunnissa S, Nair S, Vijaya Lakshmi Valluri, Sangita Mukhopadhyay.

The first operational research conducted by LEPRA India is about improving access to suspect patients for diagnosis particularly to people living in difficult terrains and urban slums. An interim station points were established as a pilot called “Sputum Collection Centres” The approach was tested for more than 5 years before government could include the strategy in National programme guidelines.
Currently in 2011, the following operational research projects are under way.

1. Prevalence of MDR-TB in a Revised National Tuberculosis control Program in urban Hyderabad & genetic study of the isolates.

2. Prevalence of Drug resistant tuberculosis in newly treated pulmonary tuberculosis patients: A multi centric study.

3. The role of genetic factors relevant for non-responsiveness to BCG and to ascertain the need to enhance the productive efficacy of BCG vaccination.

4. Molecular diagnosis of anti mycobacterial drug resistance- A community based study.

5. Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotypes and host susceptibility to tuberculosis in human immunodeficiency virus infected and non infection persons - A Community based study

6. The timing of death in patients with tuberculosis who die during anti-tuberculosis treatment in selected districts of Andhra Pradesh, South India.

7. Knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) Study for providers of alternate system of medicine in TB in Munger district of Bihar


Declaration of interests:
No conflicts of interest were delacred.

Application date:  
Last updated: November 13, 2011