The Alliance Development Trust is committed towards promoting good health and wellbeing across Sri Lanka, especially among marginalised and communities that are most vulnerable to contract communicable diseases. For over 10 years, the ADT has worked closely with HIV, AIDS and leprosy affected persons. The ADT contributes towards controlling the spread of these illnesses by creating islandwide awareness programmes while helping improve the quality of life of persons affected by supporting them through livelihood assistance and also fighting the societal stigma associated with these illnesses.
Currently, the ADT is working in close partnership with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine in creating islandwide awareness on the spread of leprosy in the country. Through networks of religious leaders from all faiths and together with Public Health Inspectors (PHI) for leprosy and other health officials, regular awareness programmes, door-to-door surveys and skin clinics are conducted in 25 districts.
Equipping Communities to Respond to Leprosy
Leprosy is curable. Sadly however, due to the societal stigma formed against the illness, leprosy often goes unnoticed and those affected by the illness are reluctant to seek medication. Responding to this need, the Anti Leprosy Campaign (ALC) of the Ministry of Health together with the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) embarked on an innovative approach of nationwide leprosy awareness. Towards this end, the ALC and the ADT worked in collaboration with religious leaders of Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths. For more than a year, religious leaders have put aside their differences and joined together with the ADT and health workers in reaching the remotest parts of Sri Lanka with this message of hope and well-being.
Combining Forces to Combat Leprosy
The Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign of the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) recently embarked towards the second phase of its campaign. The team that worked with the Church in Sri Lanka to fight against the spread of leprosy and the societal stigma formed against Persons Affected by Leprosy (PALs) for 2 years, met with religious leaders of all faiths in order to learn about the religious teachings on the importance of health and care for the sick. They gathered at Sanctuary House on 14 July 2016 to listen to the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam as presented by teachers of these faiths.
ADT Signs MoU with Health Ministry
The Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine on 23 June 2017. The MoU was signed by the Secretary of the Health Ministry and the Director of the Alliance Development Trust.
Religious Leaders Join Hands to Defeat Leprosy
With 2,000 cases of leprosy affected persons reported annually in Sri Lanka, there is a pressing need to create awareness on its spread and fight the stigma against persons affected by leprosy, while providing them with the necessary aftercare and reintegrating them into society. With the aim addressing this burning issue, the ADT launched the Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign in 2014. Following a successful model in equipping faith leaders to create awareness and fight the stigma against leprosy, the ADT has today reached all 25 districts of Sri Lanka. In 2017, the ADT organised a National Interfaith Conference on Leprosy Control in collaboration with the national Anti-Leprosy Campaign (ALC) of the Ministry of Health, and the Inter-Religious Peace Foundation.