People in Northern Ireland have shown incredible generosity over the last six weeks with their financial support for our projects to support people with leprosy in Africa and Asia.
Over £28,000 has been raised. This money will support critical projects in India, Nepal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Bangladesh to help them to maintain their day-to-day services and to enable them to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’ brought about by COVID-19.
We have already seen that, in developing countries, the measures which are required to halt the spread of the virus are leading to new fears about poverty and malnutrition. And they will make it harder to support people affected by leprosy as we would like to.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our recent appeal. Here are some of the ways that your money will be used to protect some of the most vulnerable people in the world:
Hospitals have been able to prepare by purchasing PPE such as face masks and other equipment that will protect staff and existing inpatients.
Community health and rehabilitation teams have been visiting communities of people affected by leprosy to ensure they know about social distancing, proper hand washing, and wearing face masks. They have been delivering hand wash and masks to people who need them.
To ensure that people can continue treatment and maintain social distancing, some patients are being given several months-worth of pills now and phone consultations are replacing regular monthly check-ups.
Critical food supplies or small grants are being delivered to needy families and communities to help them survive periods of lockdown in their countries. In many cases, lockdown measures have prevented people from working and their ability to feed their families.
Coronavirus is a serious and unexpected hurdle, but, with your help, it will not stop us from making leprosy a thing of the past.