Your Gifts at Work: April-June 2022

Kigali Declaration | Jagruti Projects Update | LF Mapping in Ghana | Philippines Med Shipment |
Video Message from Liberia

July 11, 2022

Another Way to Love Our Neighbors: New International Declaration on NTDs

American Leprosy Missions joined dozens of governments, NGOs, companies, and philanthropists in signing the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): a new global health initiative launched at the Kigali Summit on June 23 in Rwanda. Other signatories include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Pfizer, Novartis, Sightsavers, and government representatives from the U.S.A., Canada, Germany and the U.K.

When different organizations, companies, or governments signed the Kigali Declaration, they made specific, measurable commitments to that will help end diseases like leprosy. ALM’s three commitment areas are leprosy research (including testing the first leprosy-specific vaccine, LepVax); integrating NTDs management and care into national health systems, and supporting our partners to deliver early care and equip people affected to live whole lives.

Thank you for supporting us in this united effort to end diseases like leprosy. We believe the Kigali Declaration is another way we can live out “loving our neighbor.”

Leprosy Vaccine

ALM’s President and CEO, Bill Simmons, signed the Declaration in May 2022. Our global team is excited to join with other organizations and governments to end NTDs.

Milestones in Asia Women-Led Projects 

The Jagruti (Sanscrit for “awakening”) projects in India and Nepal train women to be agents of change in their communities: promoting health through clean water, sanitation, and hygiene practices (WASH) and by educating people about NTDs like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF). 

The project in Bihar, India successfully finished its first year: training women as community resource people (CRPs) and collecting baseline data in the project communities. The 90 CRPs just completed a refresher training and are ready to dive into community education, case referrals, and home-based care for people affected. 

The Jagruti Nepal project is finishing its initial surveys for 14,602 households, and it has also:

  • Educated eight women’s groups (200 women total) about WASH & NTDs
  • Referred 11 people for diagnosis or treatment;
  • Held orientations on WASH & NTDs for seven health centers;
  • Helped establish three community WASH committees.       

Your gifts make it possible for thousands of people to learn about diseases like leprosy, access care, and improve their community’s health–thank you!

Kimpese Water Tank

The Jagruti Bihar project is starting its second year: thank you for your continued support!

Your Gifts Find Suffering People in Ghana

This quarter, ALM supported Ghana’s national NTD Program to map LF cases in 14 districts. Two hundred field workers were trained to administer the mapping survey and they identified 3,633 cases. That means that the health system is now aware of 3,633 people like Agumpoka Ayangba: people who may need information about self-care, treatment, and surgeries. Agumpoka has been suffering from LF for twenty years and her right leg is swollen from the disease. If she experiences a severe attack, she’s unable to help her family with farming, or in their basket-weaving business. 

Mapping cases like Agumpoka’s shows health officials where to find people who need care so they can equip local hospitals and clinics. Thank you for supporting us as we collect and share this critical knowledge with Ghanian health officials.

Kimpese Water Tank

Agumpoka Ayangba has suffered from LF for 20 years. Your gifts help us work with Ghana’s ministry of health to ensure people like Agumpoka have access to care. 

NTD Innovation Prize Partnership 

The research and pharmaceutical company, Novartis, is partnering with us again to award our NTD Innovation Prize this fall! ALM created this prize to encourage innovative new solutions for fighting diseases like leprosy. Scientists and researchers around the world submit project ideas that can improve how quickly someone receives a diagnosis or how easily they can access medical care. This year, the Prize is one $40,000 award for a winning project that uses digital health or technology solutions. You can read about last year’s Prize winners and their projects here.

Medicines on the Way to the Philippines 

In May, we sent a medical supply shipment worth over $2.5 million to partners in the Philippines. The last portion of the shipment, also worth over $2 million, is preparing for loading and departure from the U.S.A.  

Thank you for helping us send needed supplies to partners around the world as they care for people affected by leprosy and related diseases!

Biomeme qPCR device at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

Your gifts help us pay for shipping when we send supplies to partners around the world. Thank you!  

Your Gifts Help Reach People with Hope

Your gifts help us support health worker training across West Africa and Asia. So far this fiscal year, thanks to your support, 4,298 people can now recognize and respond to leprosy and other NTDs. Training health workers on NTDs means that more people than ever will get diagnosis, treatment and care. 

Click on the image below to watch a special video message from  our program manager in Liberia, Tiawanlyn Akpan!

Tia Akpan - Health Workers Liberia

Our Africa program manager, Tiawanlyn Akpan, has a message from Liberia.