By ANDREW HARDING, Programs Assessor The Leprosy Mission
In Africa, 600 million people are affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), including leprosy.
These diseases affect the poorest, most vulnerable people who live in hard to reach locations. These diseases disfigure and disable. They keep children out of school and parents out of work – limiting their potential and leaving communities stuck in poverty.
And Nigeria carries the highest burden of NTDs in Africa.
Praise God that through The Leprosy Mission you are tackling this issue – to see these diseases defeated and lives transformed. Thank you.
I recently travelled to Nigeria for the first time to review and report on the Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) and Disability project.
Conducted in the state of Zamfara, it aims to help people affected by these diseases access quality leprosy, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and disability services, within an integrated health system.
The team works closely with the Nigerian Government’s Department of Health to improve health services, train health workers, and increase access to health clinics at the local level. And also with communities to help ensure people with disabilities are included in society.
It was pleasing to learn some of achievements of the last year. Thanks to you:
• 15,750 people have been reached with health promotion activities
• 493 people have participated in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities
• 100 health workers have been trained in NTD diagnosis and management
• 162 assistive devices fitted to people with disabilities
It was my privilege to meet many of those involved participating in changing and empowering their own lives through your help. To see for myself how they can learn their own self-care and how receiving walking aids, a wheelchair or a hand-powered tricycle can dramatically increase their quality of life. Their renewed hope and optimism was visible by the smiles on their faces.
Thank you for bringing healing and help to people affected by diseases the world would rather forget.
Please continue to pray for people affected by NTDs and disability in Nigeria. And for peace and safety for project staff and participants as they travel the region.
Thank you again for your support. To God be the Glory. Amen.
If you would like to provide ongoing financial support to your Nigeria project, please contact Georgie or Lisa at The Leprosy Mission Australia office to organise a regular monthly gift arrangement on 1800 537 767 or click here.