Encounter with leprosy sufferers
wortundtat’s concern for leprosy sufferers kick-started the work of the organisation almost 35 years ago. The disease involves serious physical impairments and means - in particular in Indian society - that people affected by it have to endure social exclusion. In the meantime, the number of new cases has been reduced significantly. Between 2004 and 2010 alone, the number of new infections, which are discovered each year, fell by more than half to under 130,000 (source: WHO survey).
Nevertheless: even when the disease has been stopped, infected people are left with mainly incurable damage, often associated with severe disabilities and the need for permanent assistance. Hence, looking after persons who have fallen ill is still indispensable.
However, wortundtat’s care for leprosy sufferers does not extend to health aspects alone. The aid organisation also takes care of the psychological and spiritual needs of the people. This became once again evident when Arun Kumar Mohanty, the Director or our partner organisation in India, visited the facilities for leprosy sufferers during the summer. He invited them to a church service to celebrate his birthday and he and his wife Queenie presented them with small gifts.