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The Work of the Leprosy Mission founded 1874

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1 The Work of the Leprosy Mission founded 1874
Ministering in the name of Jesus to the physical, mental and spiritual needs of leprosy sufferers around the world and those with similar disabilities.

2 Regions of Care

3 Leprosy An infectious disease caused by a bacterium Mycobacterium leprae Affects skin and eyes and muscles such as hands and feet Attacks nerves in the cool part of the body If not attended to immediately, it causes deformities

4 What is leprosy? A disease.

5 The Disease Initial Symptoms
Development of clearly defined pale skin patches indicating isolation of bacterium In extreme cases there is little definition between patches and healthy skin

6 The Disease Progression of Disease Numbness in hand and feet
Patient is susceptible to cuts, infections and feels no pain Stiffened muscles Loss of the blinking reflex in the eye can lead to blindness In some cases, amputation of hand and feet is necessary

7 The Disease (continued)
Thought to be infectious Communicated through airborne droplets Sneezing or coughing About 1,100 new cases detected each day Over 95% of the population are naturally immune

8 This is Basarul. He has leprosy.

9 Facts about Leprosy One child is diagnosed with leprosy every 2 minutes Since 1982, over 15 million people have been cured of leprosy with multi-drug therapy There were over 224,000 cases of leprosy at the beginning of 2007

10 How Does Leprosy Affect People?
Leprosy affects people both socially and emotionally There are many myths and fears about this disease People who contract leprosy are ostracized Young children, adults, anyone who contracts leprosy are often forced out of their homes and communities People sometimes cannot work

11 Leprosy in the Past The history of leprosy

12 History of Leprosy Leprosy has existed since biblical times
Once existed in Europe from 1–2000 BCE, it has since disappeared in Europe Canada once had 3 leprosy colonies Leprosy still exists in many countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa

13 Leprosy and Canada Leprosy no longer a threat in Canada Came to Canada in 19th century through immigration and infected sailors Lasted until the mid 20th century Those with leprosy were sent to D’Arcy Island in British Columbia or Sheldrake Island in New Brunswick Those with leprosy in Canada endured the same isolation as elsewhere in the world

14 Modern History of Leprosy
1893: Doctor Armaur Hansen of Norway discovers M. Leprae bacilli 1950s: Doctors begin using Dapsone to treat leprosy 1982: Leprosy develops resistance to Dapsone; the World Health Organization recommends multi-drug treatment

15 Modern History of Leprosy (cont’d)
Since 1982, Multi- Drug Therapy has made a huge impact 1985 leprosy was considered a health problem in 122 countries Work has been progressing steadily toward a vaccine American Leprosy Missions and The Leprosy Mission Canada are continuing to help fund research.

16 The “Ideal” Find every case of leprosy at an early stage
Distribute the cure Have people remain in their communities and be productive members of society

17 What are people doing about it?
There is a cure, and we’re bringing it to those who need it.

18 “The Cure” Curing people of leprosy is a complex process
Must respond to social as well as physical condition The cure is made of three different antibiotics: Dapsone,Rifampicin, Clofazimine known together as multi-drug therapy

19 The Cure MDT can cure leprosy in as little as 6 months, and for more advanced cases, up to 2 year Getting people to finish the cure is sometimes problematic considering the length of time they need to take the medication

20 The Cure (continued) Leprosy does not cause pain but the process of curing leprosy can be very painful to patients Patients can have negative reaction to drugs MDT can cause inflammation of nerves painful swelling Patient may develop nodules on their body caused by painful swelling of nerve endings

21 The Cure (continued) Patients can experience pain after amputation or reconstructive surgery Curing people with leprosy results in a return to family and to the community and a return to work and a purposeful life

22 Binta in Reaction to Leprosy Treatment

23 Binta at Amanawa Hospital

24 Vocational Training Catch Them Young Program

25 Micro Loan Program Low Cost Housing

26 Leprosy in the World Today
250,000 new cases per year 16 countries with new cases ~15 million completed MDT 3+ million with continuing disability 194,000 disability adjusted lives WHO Enhanced Strategy 2011 – 2015 1 of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases

27 Background of Neglected Tropical Diseases
Significant morbidity (1 billion affected) Strong association with poverty Flourish in poor environments Tend to co-exist Prevalent in tropical areas Largely hidden – rural, remote, slums Silent – no political voice

28 Millennium Development Goals
Leprosy work can be linked to 5 MDGs: MDG 6 – Reducing the burden of disease MDG 1 – Reduction of poverty MDG 2 – Education of children MDG 5 – Maternal health MDG 8 – Partnerships

29 WHO Enhanced Global Strategy
Early case detection and treatment Prevention of disability Community based rehabilitation Priority: equity, social exclusion, human rights, discrimination Monitor the threat of drug resistance

30 Leprosy and Our Call as Catholics
Jesus reached out to think and touched those affected by leprosy to restore them to health and wholeness Our Catholic Social Teaching reminds us of the dignity of all persons regardless of physical appearance Catholic social teaching also calls us to respond to the poor and marginalized everywhere

31 Leprosy and Our Call as Catholics
Jesus taught us the importance of prayer and sacrifice for others We can pray for those affected by leprosy We can fundraise to support multi-drug therapy We can raise awareness of the need to respect the dignity of all persons We can work to alleviate the link between leprosy and poverty in developing countries

32 To learn more about leprosy, visit

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