There are millions of children, women and men living with leprosy worldwide. Although completely curable, many people are unable to access treatment, even though the cure is free.

We work to find, treat and rehabilitate these hidden people.

The facts

  • Leprosy is a bacterial disease which affects the skin and nerves
  • The first sign of leprosy is usually a patch of discoloured skin
  • If left untreated, leprosy causes loss of sensation, paralysis, ulcers and infections, which can lead to blindness and amputation

Devastating impact

  • 600 people are diagnosed each day and 50 of these are children
  • We believe over 3 million people are living with undiagnosed leprosy
  • Over 4 million people are living with a disability caused by leprosy
  • Leprosy carries a terrible stigma; often people are shunned by communities, or even their own family when they show symptoms

Read our FAQs to find out more.

Stigma

Due to misunderstanding, lack of information and incorrect beliefs, people affected by leprosy often experience discrimination, leaving them to feel isolated and alone.

The consequences can be devastating; people are often cast out of their community, lose their livelihood and they can even experience thoughts of suicide.

More info about stigma

How is leprosy transmitted?

Leprosy is passed through coughing, sneezing and long-term contact with someone who has the disease.

How is leprosy diagnosed?

Leprosy has many different symptoms and as a result, there are varying methods used to diagnose the disease.

Read this article to find out more about how our teams work to diagnose leprosy. 

How is leprosy cured?

Leprosy is completely curable through a course of multi-drug therapy (MDT) for six months or a year.

MDT is free of charge, but many affected by the disease are unaware that this cure even exists. 

We were one of the first organisations to use multi-drug therapy to treat leprosy and we were highly involved in its development. 

You can make a difference

There are over 7 million people who need support to overcome this disease.

Our mission is to beat leprosy by 2025 – ensuring all cases are easily diagnosed and treated and leave no disability or stigma.

You can help us to beat leprosy – even the smallest contribution can help us to find, treat and rehabilitate people trapped by leprosy.

Donate

Lives changed

The lives of many children, women and men have been changed thanks to the generosity of supporters like you.

Read the inspiring stories of just some of the people we have helped. 

Useful links