The Leprosy Mission
Founded in 1874, The Leprosy Mission (TLM) is a leading Christian global
charity working in numerous countries across Africa, South Africa, and
East Asia providing and evaluating a range of medical and social projects
that help transform the lives of leprosy affected people.
Untreated, leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the
skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, yet for more than 30 years the disease has
been easily curable with multi drug therapy, a combination of antibiotics.
Early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Due to the lack of awareness
and stigma that surround the disease, some people delay seeking help and
are diagnosed too late to prevent life changing disabilities: fear and stigma
can lead to social exclusion which can be more damaging than leprosy's
Research and trials continue in a search for a preventative vaccine but in
the meantime more than 200,000 new cases are diagnosed annually with
more than 3 million people living with irreversible disabilities, including
blindness, as a result of late diagnosis and treatment.
TLM continues to work hard in reversing the injustices of leprosy: its work
includes treatment, health care, surgery, physiotherapy, health awareness
training and providing small business loans to enable those affected to
escape poverty and become independent.
St Mary's has a long record of supporting this charity. Further information
is available from the display at the back of the church throughout January
and you can find out more at www.leprosymission.org.uk