27 April 2021 · Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

The Partnership’s Mission to Côte d’Ivoire

The Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy (GPZL) conducted its country review of Côte d’Ivoire in mid-April. The review was requested by Côte d’Ivoire’s National Leprosy Programme, headed by Dr. Marcellin Assie. The objective of the country review was to take stock of the programme’s current status and define key priorities for the future following the Zero Leprosy Country Model.

The GPZL Secretariat provided remote support due to COVID-19 precautions and travel restrictions. National experts and Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health partnered with an external review team consisting of Dr Ghislain Sopoh from Benin, Dr Leopold Ilboudo from Burkina Faso, and Dr Roch Christian Johnson from the GPZL Leadership Team. This review team conducted a participatory analysis of the National Leprosy Programme, recorded progress made by the programme, and identified gaps to be filled. The review team collected national-level and district-level data from 3 districts and 12 regions: Tonkpi, Haut-Sassandra, Gôh, Abidjan, Gbêkê, Bélier, Poro, Hambol, Moronou, La Mé, Lôh-Djiboua, and Indénié-Djuablin.

Stakeholders then convened in Abidjan to review the data and develop a high-level road map to zero leprosy for Côte d’Ivoire. Key strengths identified in the country review include integration of leprosy activities in key districts, treatment completion rates, and working relationships between the national leprosy programme and leprosy partners. Areas identified for improvement include data management, human resources, diagnostic capacity at first contact health centers, and the persistence of leprosy-related stigma.

At the conclusion of the review, stakeholders agreed upon a Zero Leprosy Road Map that aligns with the WHO Road Map for Neglected Tropical Diseases 2021 – 2030 and outlines strategies to meet milestones leading up to 2030. The roadmap will be presented to the Ministry of Health for approval and adoption.