What You Need To Know About The Alliance Against Leprosy Institute (AAL)

The Alliance Against Leprosy Institute (AAL), based in Curitiba (Parana, Brazil), but active globally, is a non-profit organisation that combines Philanthropy, Education and Science to combat Hansen’s disease, better known as leprosy. Dr. Laila de Laguiche, a dermatologist and leprologist, launched AAL in 2018.

The mission of AAL is to aid in the certification of health specialists so that they may diagnose and treat leprosy ethically and devotedly to the people afflicted by the illness. AAL’s charitable activity brings together relationships with the government, the third sector, commercial enterprises and the scientific community to help researchers working on one of the world’s most neglected illnesses. This institute also works to provide excellent information to fight pathology and promote early detection to help those impacted by the condition.

The institute’s exceptional impact and results are made possible by a network of experts in various fields who have joined the cause and invested in initiatives that improve the quality of life for individuals living with leprosy or, after being cured, with its aftereffects. Businessman Bernard de Laguiche, Dr. Laila de Laguiche’s husband, is one of the supporters of AAL who has been there since it started.

The businessman is impressed with the outcomes and the yearly report, which demonstrates the efforts and includes both quantitative and qualitative data. Additionally, he is pleased with his wife’s concept and the positive impact the institution has had on so many people’s lives.


The Alliance Against Leprosy Institute was founded as a result of the private findings of a Brazilian doctor who encountered the unseen reality that individuals with leprosy experience in Brazil, the nation with the second-highest incidence of leprosy diagnoses in the world.

Laila de Laguiche’s sensitivity to health care was linked with a social vision that allowed her to see how much this and other illnesses grow in great vulnerability and social inequality contexts. Laila de Laguiche was able to treat leprosy patients due to her decades of expertise in humanitarian medicine, dermatology and treating leprosy patients. She also practised humanitarian medicine.

Brazil is now ranked by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as the 7th most unequal country in the world due to this situation. Brazil ranks seventh in the world for income inequality. Brazilians living in poverty have the highest risk of contracting leprosy because they are more likely to be neglected by those around them and excluded from society due to the sequelae accompanying late treatment. Despite the very challenging environment in which she found herself in 2018, Dr. Laila decided to launch the Alliance Against Leprosy Institute.

The optimism that Dr. Laila has been able to disseminate over the Brazilian landscape is a direct result of the infectious zeal with which she has pursued the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy. Dr. Laila is a dual citizen of Brazil and France who had her medical training in Brazil and her postgraduate training in International Public Health and Tropical Medicine in Belgium. Her work combines her professional expertise with the philanthropic spirit of charity. She has spent the previous two decades working in the medical profession after graduating from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp with a speciality in International Health and Tropical Diseases. She gained a wealth of expertise during that time (Belgium). Dr. Laila has worked as a consultant for the Brazilian Ministry of Health, as a South regional representative, and as the responsible party for International Relations at the Brazilian Society of Hansenology (SBH). Currently, she is serving in the position of chairperson for all of AAL’s operations.

The institute launched its project calendar in 2019, directly or indirectly influencing around 6 million individuals. In barely eight months of operation, the AAL institution reached 866 health professionals and educated them on how to respond in some of the regions of Brazil that were most severely affected by the illness. Some of these locations include the states of Maranhao and Mato Grosso. These actions have an influence that is both multiplicative and long-term, which should improve the area’s overall quality of life. In addition, the institute has held lectures and seminars in Curitiba geared for City Councilors of Curitiba and Curitiba dermatologists. These events focused on public policy. Also, it has contributed funding to scientific research that has the potential to enhance leprosy treatment.

Dr. Laila represented Brazil in the International Leprosy Congress, which took place in Manila, Philippines. The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as Itamaraty, organised this event. She has met with representatives from the United Nations (UN) and other international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), resulting in considerable worldwide ties. She has designed patient self-care kits with the assistance of partner firms. Patients can now care for themselves.

2020 was a difficult one, and as a result, more people in society are becoming aware of the pressing need to care for leprosy. The AAL launched a big Purple January campaign and is currently developing acts of teleconsultation and online training, both of which have the potential to have a positive impact on the current atmosphere of epidemic and social isolation.

Written by Bernard de Laguiche