Since 1986, the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development has been active in the fight against leprosy. Spreading the message that ‘leprosy can be cured,’ the foundation has played a key role in reducing the stigma attached to the disease and helping patients reintegrate into society. A prerequisite for the campaign’s major success was the free provision of multidrug therapy (MDT) from 2000 onwards by Novartis to all leprosy patients worldwide. The prevalence of leprosy has been reduced dramatically thanks to MDT. Nevertheless, many former leprosy patients suffer from disabilities which continue to impact the quality of life.
The Novartis Comprehensive Leprosy Care Association (NCLCA), supported by the NFSD, aims to prevent disabilities beyond early detection of leprosy. The project team helps those with deformities reintegrate into society through disability care, including surgeries, grip aids and physiotherapy. By passing knowledge on to local health workers and empowering patients to become autonomous, the project has greatly increased the impact of disability care in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
|Location||South Asia, Eastern Africa, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Myanmar|