Sri Lanka

  • A boy affected by leprosy in Sri Lanka

Empowering disadvantaged communities

Working in leprosy-affected communities initially in Jaffna and now other areas of Northern Sri Lanka, this project finds and treats people affected by leprosy, ensuring hospital referrals are arranged where necessary. Regular home visits are made by health workers, and villagers are trained in self-care techniques to dress wounds and prevent further injury. Leprosy awareness workshops are being held for school teachers so they can help identify new cases, reduce stigma and support children affected by leprosy in their schools. Drama workshops are raising awareness of leprosy and reducing stigma. People affected by leprosy are being trained in understanding their legal rights and community responsibilities, healthy eating, health and hygiene, and issues surrounding gender-based violence. Peace building is at the heart of initiatives, bringing Tamil and Sinhala communities together to fight against leprosy.

People's forum for change

This project is working to establish and grow a leprosy people's organisation. This includes the development of Advocates for Change who are either directly affected by leprosy themselves or people of influence within the community who are supporting the fight against leprosy, improvement of leprosy services and for equity in access.

Mobilising churches

This project is designed to raise awareness of leprosy and reduce stigma associated with the disease across the evangelical churches in Sri Lanka. Church and community leaders will be mobilised to raise awareness of leprosy among their respective communities and work to improve the lives of people affected by the disease.

Strengthening Health Systems

Focused on the early case detection of leprosy this project will also work towards zero disability in new child cases and zero discrimination of people affected by leprosy in Sri Lanka. It will strengthen government structures to provide leprosy services, reduction in stigma and discrimination and advocate for leprosy to be mainstreamed into the work of other organisations. This includes working with multi faith communities to raise awareness about leprosy and tackle stigma and discrimination.