How you can play your part in ending leprosy
Three steps you can take if you live in a leprosy-affected country
Leprosy affected countries are primarily in Asia, Africa, and South America. You can see a map of recently diagnosed leprosy cases here (the numbers on this map don’t include people who have been diagnosed in years gone by).
If you are living in a country with a large number of leprosy cases, here’s a few things that you can do:
- Be respectful and caring: leprosy is a mildly infectious disease that 95% of the population are immune to. After 72 hours of the correct treatment (Multi Drug Therapy) a person affected by leprosy is no longer infectious.
There is no need to isolate people affected by leprosy or to treat them differently from anyone else. Show them the same respect and care you would to anyone else. And never use the term ‘leper’ – instead refer to people affected by leprosy. When we break down the stigma surrounding leprosy, it will be easier for people to come forward for treatment and easier for us to stop the spread of the disease.
- Share good information, not bad: there is a lot of misinformation surrounding leprosy as myths and lies are often shared online and in communities. This makes it harder for us to find and diagnose new cases of leprosy. If you share information from trusted sources (The Leprosy Mission, ILEP, the World Health Organization) then people with symptoms of leprosy are more likely to learn that they need to come forward for treatment.
- Look at how you can support The Leprosy Mission where you are: The Leprosy Mission has offices in 12 leprosy-affected countries. There are several ways that you can support those offices. Some offices might benefit from volunteers, other offices might benefit from donations, and for some offices it might just be a case of praying for them. You can find out more by visiting their websites.
Three steps you can take if you live in a country that isn’t affected by leprosy
Even if you do not live in a country that is affected by leprosy, you still have a part to play in ending this horrible disease.
- Giving money: The biggest potential impediment to us stopping the spread of leprosy by 2035 is funding. If you are able to give money to, or raise money for, the TLM office in your country, you will be playing a vital role in the fight to defeat leprosy. You can also give directly to The Leprosy Mission International.
- Praying: The Leprosy Mission is a Christ-centred organisation and prayer is an important part of what we do. You can receive new prayer requests by finding us on the PrayerMate app or by checking our prayer page.
- Like, share, comment: Many people don’t know that leprosy is still a problem today. You can help to change that by supporting The Leprosy Mission on social media. You can either do that with The Leprosy Mission International (that’s us) or you can search ‘The Leprosy Mission’ followed by the name of the country you live in on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We are the generation that will end the oldest disease to man, but we all have a part to play. Will you play yours?