This year we are supporting the Leprosy Missions work in Sri Lanka, an island just off the coast of India in the Indian Ocean.
Here are some statistics about Sri Lanka which are quoted on the Leprosy Mission website, taken from the United Nations.
- Population: 20.9 million
- Percentage of the population living below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day: 7%
- Life expectancy (UK is 80 years): 75 years
- Percentage of the population with access to safe drinking water (UK is 100%): 90%
- Percentage of children aged from 12-months to four years that die each year (UK is 0.5%): 2%
- Percentage of adults that are literate: 91%
Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of leprosy in the world with 1877 new case diagnosed in 2017.
In 2017, according to the Leprosy Mission, 351 children received special education at Disability Resource Centres in Myanmar, 30 people with disabilities participated in a national awareness event and 727 patients were given physiotherapy.
It is probably hard for any of us here in the United Kingdom to imagine what it is like to contract leprosy or for someone in our family to have the disease. But it is still one of those diseases which affects the lives of so many people in Sri Lanka and in other parts of the world, and it is important that we do not lose awareness of it and that we pray for those countries and peoples affected by it. Pray too for the doctors and nurses who work with those who have leprosy to try to ensure that they have as a full a life as possible.
One of the ways in which medical staff are able to reach people affected by leprosy, especially if the patient is too poor to travel, is through The Leprosy Mission’s mobile clinics – seen in the video below at work in India.
You can find out more about the work of The Leprosy Mission on their website, or by visiting the Bishop’s Lent Call pages on the Diocesan Website at www.southwark.anglican.org/lentcall, where you can also read more about the other projects, both in Southwark Diocese and overseas, that we’re supporting through the 2019 Lent Call.