As Lent is fast coming to a close, we are sure those who took part are looking forward to reclaiming the luxuries they chose to give up over the past 40 days.

If you haven't seen already, our Give up and Give: Lent Appeal, focuses on the impact our health education vans make on the community by travelling to raise awareness of leprosy, and how they are working to beat leprosy. 

The devastating effects of leprosy

Today, it is believed that 4 million people are living with a disability because of leprosy.

Disability can seriously alter the quality of somebody's life and it often prevents them from going to work and school. Being unable to earn a living and access an education often affects people's livelihoods and subsequently they are at greater risk of falling into poverty.

The cure for leprosy has been available since 1989, however, lack of health education, stigma and access to healthcare often prevents people from accessing treatment. 

Eradicating leprosy doesn't just end at the cure. It's because of this that we travel to communities to raise awareness of leprosy and other neglected diseases.

Education vans

Last year, we reached over 2.3 million people through health education and events to raise awareness of leprosy and other neglected diseases. Our health education vans vastly contribute to this total by providing people with the knowledge so they can spot the symptoms and access treatment. More specifically, our vans can travel up to 70 miles a day and last year, they reached over 900,000 people. 

Haydar’s story

Haydar lives in a small village in Bangladesh; he faced many difficulties when seeking diagnosis for his symptoms.

'I spent all my money visiting doctors, but nobody diagnosed it as leprosy,' he says. 'Eventually I travelled to a hospital 160km away from my home and they provided me with the correct treatment. I needed to earn money so I continued to work as a rickshaw puller, but this gave me ulcers and I eventually lost my hands and feet to leprosy.'

There’s still time to help

You can help our education vans continue their journey to help more people identify the symptoms of leprosy, seek treatment and access the cure.

Support our Lent journey