World Leprosy day is observed internationally every year all around the world, usually on the last Sunday in January, which is the 28th January this year, 2024. At our Nepal Leprosy Trust office in Richmond, we will be holding a coffee morning on the Friday 26th January, to help raise funds for our work in Nepal.
In most countries, even today, people still think that leprosy does not exist any more. World Leprosy Day is an opportunity to make people more aware that leprosy is still a widespread problem, explain what it is, and why there is a need for action!
Leprosy is preventable and treatable. Medication is freely available in all countries where it is endemic, and so treatment should be be accessible to anyone suffering from leprosy. However, leprosy persists in many countries for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones being that it is a neglected tropical disease that does not attract funding for research and vaccine production. This in turn means that it is still not well understood, and that the eradication of leprosy is very difficult. This global neglect enables leprosy to continue to thrive in areas where people still live in serious poverty, and where the culture and fear encourage stigma toward those affected by the disease. This fear of stigma still drives many affected people to hide the signs of leprosy for as long as possible, avoiding treatment, often until it is impossible to hide it any longer. By this time, irreversible damage may have occurred, and the disease passed on to others, aiding its transmission.
The goal of NLT, and of other organizations working with people affected by leprosy, is to lift the veil on the disease so that it is no longer invisible, and to work to wash away the stigma and ignorance around it. Our work with self-help groups, Village Alive groups, Momentum Club groups and the many visitors to NLT’s Centre at Lalgadh, is to be part of this ‘washing’ and to bring understanding and compassion to communities, and people who are affected by leprosy.
Please consider holding your own coffee morning to help raise funds, and mentioning it in your own church services.
If you would like help with materials and information, please contact us on 0208 940 1200 or email at email@example.com
We can supply posters, people’s stories and photos for you to display.