They are a UK registered international charity focusing on people who find themselves trapped by disease, poverty and prejudice and they help them to improve their health, lives and livelihoods.
They work with individuals and communities affected by some of the world’s oldest and most neglected diseases.
Working on the ground in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique they treat, educate and rehabilitate, and through this give a voice to people living on the margins of society.
They work regardless of caste, religion or race. Their models draw on evidence gained through their 90 years’ experience and their approach to community engagement delivers real change to people’s lives.
Why they're needed
Almost two thirds of the world’s leprosy burden is in India and Bangladesh. Last year 213,899 people were diagnosed globally. Millions more are living with the long term effects of the disease including disability and prejudice.
Over 120 million people are currently infected with lymphatic filariasis, an incurable but completely preventable disease spread by mosquitos.
A staggering 1.4 billion people are at risk worldwide from this disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is the second biggest killer after HIV, killing five people every two minutes globally.
They are guided by their values which focus on the individual and not the disease. They work to ensure that people can influence the decisions that affect them.
They are one of the world’s leading authorities on leprosy.
They are now taking their 91 years of expertise to other diseases to develop sustainable cost effective solutions and maintain best practice in the field.
For them, value for money means the best possible use of resources for the largest transformative effect.
Their teams on the ground have pioneered many successful models that have been adopted by others including governments and international organisations.
They deliver community based health and livelihood programmes directly to people affected by diseases such as leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, TB and HIV.
Their programmes involve thousands of local volunteers, bringing health services and information to their communities.
They especially recognise that women have a vital role to play in the overall health of society and they are building on this. They support equality and social justice.