Early detection and diagnosis of leprosy is vital to our mission, because if treatment with multi-drug therapy is started early enough, long-term disability can be completely avoided.
We run awareness raising programmes in leprosy-affected areas to educate individuals, families and communities about the signs and symptoms of the disease.
A vital part of these programmes is the training of community volunteers who take responsibility for identifying new cases in their villages.
We also educate local health workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, rural medical practitioners and family planning staff about leprosy so they can identify cases and refer people for treatment as quickly as possible.
To be effective we must reach as many leprosy-affected people as we can as quickly as possible. That is why we also work with governments to ensure that leprosy detection, diagnosis and treatment are given priority within the public health system.