Leprosy is one of the first diseases ever recorded by mankind. And yet, despite being entirely curable, it has still not been eradicated.
Leprosy is a bacterial infection which slowly infects the body and damages nerves under the skin. In time, the patient loses feeling in affected areas and their skin develops terrible sores and disfigurement.
This ancient disease is so stigmatised that patients avoid being checked for infection.
In Indonesia, 17,000 new cases of Leprosy have been reported every year since 2010. Many people who live in poor communities are too scared to come forward for treatment. Deep-rooted stigma causes victims to suffer unnecessarily and never go to the doctor for fear of being shunned as outcasts.
If diagnosed early, Leprosy can be cured with free treatment from the World Health Organisation.
If the disease is caught before permanent damage has occured, a leprosy patient can make a full recovery - changing the course of their life forever.
The Vaseline® Healing Project educated communities about the importance of early diagnosis, in addition to hosting travelling clinics and training sessions.1
Medics at the Healing Project event were trained to diagnose the disease.
During these clinics, several new cases of Leprosy were diagnosed in young children. Although this would have been a profound shock for the child's parent, it was also an enormous and positive turning point in their lives. With a clear diagnosis, doctors supported by the Vaseline® Healing Project were able to start treatment to cure the child. Multi-Drug Therapy that cures Leprosy is provided free of charge all over the world by the World Health Organisation.2
Understanding that your skin can reflect the health of your entire body is essential to fighting diseases like Leprosy.
Early diagnosis and treatment can change lives for the better.
1 It is important to note that Vaseline® products are not a cure or treatment for Leprosy.
2 Further information about diagnosis and treatment for Leprosy (aka Hansen's Disease) is available online from the World Health Organisation link opens in new window.