Your Gifts at Work: October-December 2022

February 17, 2023

Reaching Suffering People in Ghana With the Love of Christ

Last year, your generous gifts helped us launch four new projects in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire with Christian partner organizations and hospitals. These projects are strengthening local health providers and training community members to identify people affected by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). 

Through the project with Ghana’s Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, 30 health workers and 50 community volunteers completed training on how to recognize NTDs, the referral process for testing and treatment, and important steps to help people manage the diseases. So far, these health workers and volunteers have screened 6,354 people for NTDs and found 1,324 people in need of treatment and care. 

Thirty people affected also received emotional and spiritual support from local Christian leaders: counseling with church leaders shares the love of Christ and helps people know they are not alone. Your support is having a tremendous impact on Agogo’s neighbors!  

Leprosy Vaccine

These health workers just completed NTDs training at Agogo Presbyterian Hospital. 

Strengthening Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

Thanks to your gifts, we shipped $2.67 million worth of medical supplies and medicines to one of our partners in Nepal, Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital.  Sent in December, the supplies have been approved by customs and will soon be on their way to the hospital.  

Lalgadh has also received a grant from the USAID Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA). The $640,394 award is for new construction at Lalgadh; when the hospital opened in 1996, it was designed for several thousand people to receive leprosy treatment each year. Now Lalgadh serves over 100,000 people annually for leprosy and general medical care. The USAID ASHA grant will build a new research and training unit, an operating theater complex, and upgraded infrastructure facilities, in addition to some needed renovations. These new steps at Lalgadh will bring the highest quality care to thousands of patients and pave the way for future discoveries to combat leprosy and care for people affected. Thank you for faithfully supporting our partners like Lalgadh!

Kimpese Water Tank

Lalgadh offers critical medical services both to people affected by leprosy and those who need general treatment or surgeries. 

A Global Initiative to Map Leprosy

At the International Leprosy Congress in November 2022, we announced a new project with partners around the world: the Global Leprosy Mapping Initiative. As the name implies, this collaboration will develop tools to support governments around the world in mapping leprosy cases in their countries. Mapping helps health officials to see where resources are needed so that people affected receive faster treatment and care. American Leprosy Missions has been dreaming of a project like this for years and your partnership has made it possible!

Kimpese Water Tank

The mapping project will help governments find people like Dabbala Gowri in India. She was diagnosed with leprosy during a door-to-door survey. Now she’s received the cure!

Breaking Barriers to Health in India and Nepal

Thanks to your faithful partnership, the women-led WASH + NTDs projects in India and Nepal continue to provide valuable resources for their communities. Women trained as community resource people (CRPs) connect their neighbors to NTDs care and advocate with local officials to address water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) concerns. 

In Bihar, India the CRPs encourage people to access government resources to improve WASH across 130 villages where we work. As a result, 93% of 63,630 households now have piped water from Bihar’s government water supply program. When the project began, only 36% of these households had access to safe water! Improvements in water quality are critical to prevent diseases. 

The Bihar project identified 83 new cases of leprosy and referred them for multi-drug treatment. Many of these new people receiving the cure are women, showing a comfort with the female CRPs in their communities. The CRPs also provide home-based care and referrals to 2,864 people with severe disabilities from leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF). The CRPs in Nepal give the same home-based care to 144 people. These visits prevent new disability and keep existing ones from becoming worse. 

Safe water, access to health services, and ongoing care are critical to fighting NTDs like leprosy and LF. Your support has an enormous impact in these communities, fostering health and care for thousands!

Finding People Suffering the Pain of NTDs in Ghana 

Finding people suffering from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is the first step to treatment and care. When health workers know where people are living with the lifelong complications of NTDs, they can target resources to those areas. This helps ensure that marginalized people receive medicine, self-care training and support. 

In December, American Leprosy Missions helped Ghana’s ministry of health confirm their records on people affected by lymphatic filariasis (LF). LF is caused by mosquito-borne parasites that attack the human lymph system. This damages the body’s fluid balance and ability to fight infections, leading to severe swelling in the lower limbs. Even after treatment, the swelling is irreversible and can cause disabilities and ongoing pain.  

Thanks to your support, we organized a training event for health workers in four districts so they could conduct community surveys, meet people affected and record new numbers for the ministry of health. Their reports are helping Ghanaian officials choose the best way to serve people affected by NTDs. 

Biomeme qPCR device at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

Health workers visited four districts in the first round of the survey, meeting people affected by LF and recording their information.