American Leprosy Missions Fact Sheet


Founded in 1906, American Leprosy Missions is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States working to bring cure and care to people affected by leprosy and related diseases, and ultimately end these terrible diseases. It is estimated that more than four million people around the world are disabled as a result of leprosy.


Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with leprosy. But many Americans mistakenly believe leprosy was eradicated long ago. The effects of leprosy can be devastating if left untreated. The disease attacks the nervous system and numbs extremities in the cooler parts of the body including the hands, feet and face. Victims often face the loss of fingers and toes and sometimes blindness. In addition to the physical ramifications of leprosy, there is a long-held stigma that often results in the isolation of leprosy victims.


Caused by a bacterium, leprosy is easily cured with multi-drug therapy of three separate antibiotics. The average cost to cure and care for one person with leprosy is $348. This cost covers education, distribution of medication, reconstructive surgery, prevention of disability, vocational training and assistance in community reintegration.


In Asia, Africa and South America, leprosy remains a serious public health problem. American Leprosy Missions works around the world, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.


During its more than 100-year history, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic care to millions of people around the world including medical treatment and training, Christian outreach, disability prevention, community development and vaccine research.

Media Contact

Sarah Hesshaus
Communications Director
Work 864.241.1731
Email  [email protected]