Let’s stamp out leprosy
There is a common misconception that leprosy is a disease of the past.
With less than 1 case per 10,000 people globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared leprosy ‘eliminated’ as a public health problem in the year 2000.
But it simply isn’t true.
This devastating disease continues to ravage villages in several countries, including an estimated 3,000 – 5,000 new cases per year in Nigeria alone.
The good news is that leprosy is curable. And the medicine is free.
Leprosy is a bacterial disease that can be cured with antibiotics. Treating early can prevent deformity and nerve damage. And perhaps the best news is that after just one week, the disease is no longer contagious.
Sadly, most Nigerian sufferers will never receive this life-saving treatment.
Leprosy still carries a heavy stigma, which means that fear of exile and ostracism, even by close family members, often keeps patients from seeking a diagnosis. And even those who do seek diagnosis often find themselves unable to travel to treatment centers.
Why should you help?
Because you can. In a world that is faced with so many seemingly insurmountable problems, this one actually has a solution. Eliminating Leprosy, not only in Nigeria, but throughout the world, is actually possible. The medicine exists. It’s even free. All we have to do is find a way to get it to the people who need it and support them with follow-up care once they’ve been cured.
Who are we?
Leprosy Outreach works with two leprosy settlements, The Oji River Colony, in Enugu State, and the Iberekodo Leper Colony, in Abeokuta, in Ogun State. The antibiotics to treat sufferers in these camps are provided by the German Leprosy Mission and are available free of charge to all who need them.
Leprosy Outreach works to ensure that sufferers in local villages, who live outside the camps, are able to reach the treatment centers to access the medicines they need or that the medicines are delivered to them. Leprosy Outreach also helps improve the living conditions of leprosy sufferers and their families– conditions which may otherwise be unsanitary or even dangerous– and supports them to re-integrate into society once they are cured.
Please help if you can
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”