Alliance Against Leprosy
Dra. Laila de Laguiche
Philanthropy and Science united
Headquartered in Curitiba (PR) and operating internationally, the Alliance Against Leprosy Institute (AAL) is a non-profit association that brings together science, education and philanthropy in the fight against leprosy. Founded in 2018 by Dermatologist and Leprologist Dr. Laila de Laguiche, AAL is an institution with an exclusive focus on leprosy and aims to provide assistance to the population affected by the disease, disseminate quality information, fight against the pathology and encourage early diagnosis.
Values – Born out of a desire to help patients by providing quality care and information, we always regard our conduct on ethical and scientific grounds. The AAL Institute grew out of the friendship of the founding partners and the imminent need to organize Brazilian society for a decisive action against leprosy and its harms. All AAL’s effort is framed in a very challenging context, as Brazil is in second place in the ranking of countries affected by leprosy, second only to India.
Leprosy: a social problem to be solved
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, which slowly multiplies itself and may take five to ten years to show the first symptoms. The condition mainly affects the peripheral nerves and is associated with skin injuries such as whitish patches, dryness and loss of sensation. Late diagnosis can leave severe sequelae, in particular physical disability. In Brazil, until 1995, leprosy was known as lepra. In March of that year, Act 9.010 entered into effect, which changed the official terminology, but it did not represent a significant change in the challenges experienced by patients with this disease.
Although there is a cure and free treatment provided by the Brazilian Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) (Unified Health System), leprosy is difficult to identify and part of a shocking reality in Brazil. The country has the second highest number of cases in the world, only second to India. According to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017, 26,875 new cases were detected in the Brazilian territory, which has represented more than 93% of the occurrences registered in countries of the Americas. In 2016 there were 25,218 cases. Preliminary data already point to 26,667 cases in 2018.
The WHO has put leprosy on the list of neglected diseases, characterized for being infectious pathologies and affecting mainly people living in extreme poverty. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), neglected diseases are restricted to tropical and subtropical regions with untreated water, inadequate hygiene and sanitation, and poor housing conditions.
About the founder, Laila de Laguiche
Dr. Laila’s deep passion for leprosy research and treatment has spread hope in the Brazilian horizon. Brazilian and French citizen, with a medical background in Brazil and a postgraduate degree in Belgium in Tropical Medicine and International Public Health, Dr. Laila combines technical wisdom with the nobility of philanthropy. She is a health professional with 20 years of experience in the field, postgraduate in International Health and Tropical Diseases from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp (Belgium), representative of the Southern Regional and International Relations of the Brazilian Society of Leprology (SBH – Sociedade Brasileira de Hansenologia).
Technical Manager: Dr. Laila de Laguiche, Dermatologist
CRM – PR 31295 /RQE 17087
Leprologist RQE 19706
Supporters – The AAL Institute has as members renowned scientists and doctors from various parts of the country as well as civil society icons with unrivaled administrative, financial, social and advocacy experience. It is with this pluralism that we believe we can achieve our goals!
We have a lot of work ahead, so we need your support, involvement and participation in this ALLIANCE!
We dream big!
We dream of a zero leprosy Brazil!
You are very important for OUR ALLIANCE!