It's not just the physical effects of disease such as leprosy and lymphatic filariasis which devastate live; people affected by these diseases are often shunned by their communities and sometimes even their own families because of the prejudice which surrounds these diseases and the symptoms.

People may have their children taken away, suffer physical or psychological abuse. The prejudice often remains long after a person has been cured, and the effects can lead to isolation, depression and even suicide.

Madi Sakuru Meekcoms explains in more detail:

"Many of the people we work with have experienced some kind of prejudice because of disease. This can be from others in their community, government and sometimes event their own family.

In India, there are still 16 laws that discriminate against people affected by leprosy; such as leprosy being grounds for divorce. Myths surrounding these ancient diseases are still wide spread. Leprosy is believed to be a curse which is spread by touching people with leprosy.

People with lymphatic filariasis are laughed at and shunned for their disfigurement forcing them to isolate themselves. Some haven’t left their homes in 20 years, can you imagine how that feels?

The prejudice these people experience is separating them from society and making them feel ashamed and worthless. Even something as simple as a pair of shoes can make a real difference. With your help we can give a voice to the people affected by prejudice. We couldn’t do any of our life-changing work without your support.

If you want to change someone’s life today, come and visit our get involved section on our website you can simply donate, take part in one of our challenge events, or fundraise in your own way. The people we work with need you now. Thank you."

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Find out how prejudice and lack of awareness often prevent people receiving early treatment.