Almost a quarter of a million people are infected with leprosy each year, according to the World Health Organization. In Somalia, thousands of people suffer from leprosy in isolation, often being shunned by others. Many go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness about symptoms and how the disease is spread. Leprosy spreads when bacteria enter the body, through nasal mucus or an open wound. Medicine and training helps stop the spread of the disease in sufferers and family members.
Faaduma was infected with leprosy by her husband, who died from the disease. She lost her limbs, her dignity, her income, her relationships. We found Faaduma-her body ravaged by infection-on the outskirts of her village, alone. For the first time, she learned the truth about her disease. She learned there was help available for her. Best of all, she received free medicine to halt the disease, and ensure it doesn't spread to her children. This project will help reach more people like Faaduma.
Medical treatment can halt leprosy, and ensure it doesn't spread to other family members. By educating families and communities about the cause and nature of leprosy, we can address the fear and ignorance that stigmatizes sufferers. You can help to instill compassion for rejected people longing for a human touch. Your gift will provide medicine, trained caregiver support, wound care, and supplies for someone with leprosy. This project will help 100 people affected by leprosy.