The Netherlands has an outstanding record of scientific interest and achievement in leprosy. A remarkable number of world-leading leprosy researchers and experts are located in the Netherlands, including several with close connections with The Leprosy Mission. A multi-year scientific collaboration between Erasmus University (in Rotterdam) and TLM Bangladesh yielded one of the most important recent research findings in leprosy, demonstrating the protective benefits of a single dose of the drug rifampicin for contacts of leprosy patients.
Leprazending (TLM Netherlands) was established in the 1970s to support TLM’s global work with funds, prayer and the provision of qualified staff to serve overseas. Over the years, a long and very creditable series of Dutch cross-cultural workers have played key roles with TLM in many countries. They currently include Geeske Zijp in Chad (previously in Democratic Republic of Congo) and Tanny Hagens, who has worked in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia. TLM Netherlands’ vision is to see leprosy and rehabilitation services strengthened and to enable transformational change in the lives of people affected by leprosy in India, Bangladesh, DR Congo, Myanmar and Chad. In order to make that possible, it seeks support from donors, churches and institutional funders, and organises events to get people involved with the vision and mission of TLM.
TLM’s country leader in the Netherlands is Henno Couprie. TLM Netherlands contributes around £900,000 per year to TLM’s programmes.