Oldest U.S. Anti-Leprosy Organization Awarded Seventh USAID ASHA Grant

Oct 13, 2021

(Greenville, S.C., October 13, 2021) American Leprosy Missions, a global leader in the fight against leprosy, was recently awarded a four-year grant of more than $900,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program. The award is designated for new construction and renovations at the Schieffelin Institute of Health Research and Leprosy Centre in Karigiri, India.

The ASHA program aims to increase the ability of overseas schools, libraries and hospitals to demonstrate U.S. advancements in education and medical technology. These institutions then contribute to the strengthening of mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries while creating a foundation for leadership development.

India consistently reports some of the world’s highest annual numbers of new leprosy cases. Over the past 65 years, the Schieffelin Institute has been dedicated to comprehensive care for people affected by leprosy as well as cutting-edge research that changes the treatment landscape.

Because leprosy can result in nerve damage and sensation loss, people affected frequently develop injuries or infections in their feet and legs. Specialized orthotic and prosthetic devices—like footwear or prosthetic feet and lower limbs—are critical for people affected to live full, healthy lives. To address this need, the Schieffelin Institute operates a prosthetics and orthotics workshop that, thanks to AHSA funding, is expanding.

“This collaborative agreement with USAID ASHA recognizes Schieffelin’s achievements by supporting its new Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics Research and Development,” says ALM’s Executive Vice President of Programs, Stefanie Weiland. “A dedicated center will expand Schieffelin’s services to people affected by leprosy and its reach as an international focal point for training, research, and innovative solutions.”

The $936,624 collaborative agreement with ASHA will support the construction and renovation of the Center, following the quality standards of India’s Rehabilitation Council and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Center will include:

  • a prosthetics and orthotics workshop
  • a gait laboratory
  • an orthotic CAD-CAM unit (Computer-Aided Design, Computer-Aided Manufacture)
  • a prosthetics CAD-CAM unit with milling and 3D printing facilities 
  • consultation and fitting facilities
  • research and training facilities

In 2019, Schieffelin created 7,127 pieces of special footwear. With construction of the new Center, Schieffelin will not only have greater production capacity, but also the ability to distribute prostheses and orthoses to patients more quickly. The new Center will allow the Schieffelin Institute to develop its integrated management of lower limb disabilities and its innovative technology research.

This is American Leprosy Missions’ seventh USAID ASHA grant, totaling over $3.1 million in awards, and the third ASHA grant American Leprosy Missions has received for projects with the Schieffelin Institute.

About American Leprosy Missions

American Leprosy Missions, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and related diseases. It currently supports projects, programs and partners in countries across Africa and Asia. Since its founding in 1906, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic care to more than four million people around the world including medical treatment and training, disease mapping and management, community development and research.

For Additional Information

Sarah Hesshaus

Vice President of Business Process and Communications

[email protected]