We are committed to eradicating leprosy, one of 18 diseases formally recognised as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD).
According to the World Health Organisation, NTDs affect nearly 1.5 billion people in 149 countries. NTDs include diseases such as lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, river blindness and intestinal worms.
NTDs present a largely hidden burden among some of the poorest communities and disproportionately affect children, women and people with disabilities. The diseases flourish in communities with poor housing and sanitation, unsafe water, and limited access to basic health care. They hinder development, keeping individuals and communities trapped in poverty.
The Leprosy Mission is a signatory to the London and Abu Dhabi Declarations on NTDs, which aim to see significant progress made towards eradicating these diseases. It is also an active member of the global NTD NGDO Network. It is important and beneficial to engage with the NTD movement because:
- This encourages fellow NTD organisations to include leprosy in their programmes
- TLM is enabled to offer greater help to leprosy-affected communities which are nearly always affected by other NTDs as well as leprosy
- Together, our voices are more likely to be heard by governments and donors
- Together we can work more effectively to reduce the stigma associated with many NTDs
TLM’s experience and expertise adds value to the approaches used for other NTDs, and vice versa, so we can learn from one another.