In 2017, the DKHF chairman (who is a tropical doctor) and his medical students from Erasmus MC Rotterdam, learned from local Community Health Volunteers (CHV’s) that the number of leprosy patients is increasing in West-Pokot. An initial field study warranted further research into the occurrence of active leprosy in the region. Thanks to the extensive collaboration between the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Leiden University, Moi University Eldoret (Kenya) and the Ministry of Health of West Pokot, we were able to discover that the prevalence of active leprosy of 8:10.000 is eight times higher than the target prevalence set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The results of this study, together with recommendations on leprosy control, were presented to the Minster of Health by our chairman in October 2019. The DKHF has since provided medical treatment for all patients enrolled in the study and of course we continue to support the CHV’s when it comes to the detection and treatment of leprosy patients in the region.
The leprosy research led to a campaign for the detection and treatment of leprosy patients. The DKHF also contributed financially to the treatment of leprosy patients, thanks to donations received in 2019. This project uses tele-dermatology. Photos taken by community health workers are sent for diagnostics to an international group of dermatologists via the DKHF.
The costs of this study (approximately € 87,000.00) were largely received in kind from the collaborating organisations and researchers in 2018 and 2019. The DKHF is seeking financial support for the improvement of leprosy control in West Pokot County. A first donation from the Wolz Handmade Foundation has been received by the DKHF.