Leprosy

  • More than 600 people are diagnosed with leprosy each day; over 50 of these are children.
  • The number of new cases reported globally to World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 was 208,613. Most cases are found in Africa and Asia.
  • 60 per cent of new cases of leprosy diagnosed in 2018 were found in India.
  • Leprosy is curable! 
End Leprosy Now

Leprosy is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae, and causes horrible physical infliction. Leprosy usually develops slowly. It usually takes about 3 to 5 years for symptoms to appear after coming into contact with the leprosy-causing bacteria. Some people do not develop symptoms until 20 years later. 

What are the signs of leprosy?

The first sign of the disease is often skin lesions all over the body. Then the person begins to lose sensation in their fingers, toes, and limbs.

Losing sensation means that people don’t realize when they’ve hurt themselves. Wounds are left unattended for too long and get infected. This causes nerves to enlarge and become damaged, which can lead to a loss of limbs and sight. 

What happens to people who suffer from leprosy?

Some communities still think it is a curse, and will shun the people from leprosy. They are evicted from their homes, fired from their workplace, and abandoned. Their family and friends don’t give them any support and they are completely neglected and isolated.

People living with leprosy are left in financial difficulty because they cannot work. They are also at a higher risk of contracting other diseases like Covid-19 due to their compromised immune systems. 

How do you cure leprosy?

Leprosy is a feared disease, even though it is completely curable with multi-drug therapy. 

Good news - Multi-drug therapy is free for all patients. effect:hope trains health workers and volunteers to identify leprosy in its early stages and raises awareness of the disease in communities. The healthcare workers personally meet with leprosy patients and help them get the treatment they need. 

We work with our partners to ensure that after people are cured, they receive appropriate ongoing care so they can return to their lives with full-health. Services such as surgery, physical therapy, self-care training, and counselling are all important parts of our work. 

What is effect:hope doing to end the stigma?

effect:hope has worked to serve people with leprosy for over a century. From doing important research on leprosy transmission and educating communities about leprosy, we are inching closer and closer to elimination every day. But, we don't stop there. We feel it is just as important that people can live in inclusive communities where they receive love and care. We work with our partners to break down some of the fear that the communities have about contracting the disease. We invest in micro business financing to help people earn a sustainable and dignified living wage.

With more people who are trained and aware, leprosy can be stopped early before people will suffer permanent disabilities. This is where you come in  - you can help train more health care workers and partners to reach all who are struggling with the disease. 

"A man with leprosy came and knelt before [Jesus] and said, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy" (Matthew 8:2-3).

The fight is not over. Will you join us and stop leprosy? 

Help us Stop Leprosy!

  • Conduct research on the transmission of leprosy. 
  • Discover better diagnosis and treatment methods. 
  • Train and provide a research-friendly environment for health care workers who have direct experience with leprosy.
  • Strengthen the local public health systems in the countries where we operate. 
  • Treat and care for leprosy patients.
  • End stigma and isolation.
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