Leprosy remains a significant health problem in Nepal—a population where the majority of people are subsistence farmers. The leprosy-prevalence rate is 2.6 cases per 10,000 population (WHO, 2013), well above the World Health Organisation elimination target. Poverty, the stigma of leprosy, and poor access to healthcare all contribute to the high rate of leprosy.
The Leprosy Mission Australia has been working in partnership with the Nepali government since 1957, providing specialist leprosy care at Anandaban Hospital, which is also a centre for extensive leprosy research and treatment development.
In partnership with Leprosy Mission Nepal and Nepal Leprosy Fellowship (NLF), The Leprosy Mission Australia works in community empowerment, development, disability awareness and rehabilitation, and socio-economic rehabilitation in the Central Development and Eastern Development Regions of Nepal.
The Leprosy Mission Nepal is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by distributing sanitisers, masks and disinfectant soap to communities around the Anandaban Hospital area.
They are also raising community awareness through local radio stations.