Nigeria has Africa’s largest population, with over 250 ethnic groups, and its largest economy, but remains beset by security issues in some of the states where TLM works. The country has been a democracy since 1999 after many years of military rule. Leprosy treatment is the responsibility of the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme. Around 3,000 new cases are reported each year, of which 10% are children and 15% come with visible disabilities – evidence of ongoing transmission and late diagnosis.
TLM’s national office in Nigeria is near Abuja, the capital. The projects in Nigeria focus on four major thematic areas: Health and management and prevention of disability; Empowerment and livelihood; Advocacy and communication; Learning and education. These were coined as the HEAL campaign, and TLM’s projects span the whole range of services that respond to the needs of leprosy-affected people – and, increasingly, people suffering from other neglected tropical diseases. Projects include an orthopaedic workshop which supplies protective, assistive and other mobility aids to vulnerable people with disabilities.
TLM Nigeria is governed by a local board, responsible for the total programme. It has a fundraising strategy and works with churches, individual donors and companies to raise funds for and awareness about TLM’s work.
TLM’s country leader in Nigeria is Dr Moses Onoh. The annual budget is around £900,000.