Let’s eradicate the stigma surrounding Leprosy

My sister Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas is a dermatologist who devotes part of her time with the Philippine Leprosy Mission to help eradicate leprosy or Hansen’s disease . I want to help her because leprosy is still a stigma in the Philippines and around the world. There used to be a lot of funding from American Leprosy non-profits — but that has dwindled to ZERO funding in recent years. There might be some of you out there who would like to help figure out creative means and ways to raise funds to help my sister and her friends.

world leprosy day

January 26 is World Leprosy Day 2014 which calls for a massive, concerted, united effort to raise awareness about leprosy and the problems created by this chronic but curable disease. It is not enough to know about leprosy–we all have to ACT WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY in order to prevent and address the physical, psychosocial, and economic problems that leprosy brings.

World Leprosy Day is also a day of prayer for leprosy patients, their loved ones, and cured patients who struggle to be productive members of society–may they continue to have faith and to heal. Let us also pray for leprosy workers, public and private agencies who could help, and all those who are already assisting leprosy patients–may we truly work together for a world that is free of the worst aspects of leprosy–free from disability, stigma, and discrimination.

My sister thanks everyone who can help spread the truth about leprosy. She adds “We need a generation of youth who are knowledgeable about leprosy and compassionate to those who are affected. We want to develop a generation who will not discriminate against persons with leprosy and those with disabling/disfiguring diseases.”

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