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Happy Holidays!

8 December 2020

To our loyal and generous supporters, 

We wish you a very enjoyable festive season, filled with joy and happiness!

2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone across the globe.

In January 2020, the Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, Lepra’s Vice President, was a key note speaker at an event at the House of Lords to mark World Leprosy Day. In his opening remarks, he asked the audience, “Imagine a world where more people know about Coronavirus than leprosy!”

Fast forward just a couple of months to March and it became clear that the global health crisis was about to throw decades of progress on health, education and poverty into reverse, with the impact inevitably hitting those people at the bottom of the “forgotten” rung hardest.

Lepra, as a specialist health charity instrumental in developing a cure for leprosy, was well equipped to draw on its expert clinical knowledge and continue its evidence based research in the face of COVID-19. As challenges presented throughout the year, with your magnificent support, we found ways to overcome them:

  • Our testing project, nutrition support and hygiene kit work continues apace. These services operate together with our leprosy and LF projects, often working through self-support groups to assist the most vulnerable, providing access to lifesaving medical supplies, hygiene equipment and disability support
  • In Bangladesh and India our colleagues have been working hard, often risking their own health to ensure continuity of programmes. It is good to report that all who have fallen sick with COVID-19 have recovered, though not always quickly
  • The purchase of PCR machines at the Blue Peter Public Health and Research Centre which allow for the study of, and testing for, not only leprosy but COVID-19 too, are now able to achieve test results in 40 minutes!

These astonishing achievements reflect our determination to change the lives of people affected by leprosy and LF, and come what may, remain steadfast in the face of these turbulent times.

As the year comes to a close, we are facing a further hurdle. The supply chain of MDT, the medicine currently used to treat leprosy, has been significantly impacted due to manufacturing problems. This is a huge concern for people affected by leprosy, and Lepra is leading the march to rectify this.

So what does 2021 hold? We will:

  • Expand the PCR testing project with mobile outreach to ensure vulnerable people in even the most remote and rural communities can access the treatment they need
  • Be a key player in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to ensure that those people affected by leprosy and LF are not forgotten. We have already been asked or help and support by the Ministries of Health in India and Bangladesh.
  • Continue our programme of active case finding

Today, new research suggests that almost three-quarters of people in Britain say they will make a charitable donation this Christmas. 

Be one of them and allow us to better plan our work for the next twelve months. 

Donate now.

However you choose to support us, thank you. Together we will beat leprosy.


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