With the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) and the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, the ADT has pledged its support towards the ministry’s Anti-Leprosy Campaign. As a first step, the ADT will help the Anti-Leprosy Campaign initiate a national social marketing campaign on eradicating leprosy in Sri Lanka.
There have been approximately 2,000 cases of new leprosy infections reported annually during the past 2 decades. In response to this situation, the Ministry of Health’s Anti-Leprosy Campaign has developed a strategic plan for the period of 2016-2020. Following the success of the ADT’s Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign, the ADT was invited by the Ministry of Health to contribute towards this strategic plan and now partners with the Anti-Leprosy Campaign to combat the spread of leprosy.
Speaking with the ADT, the Acting Director of the Anti-Leprosy Campaign – Dr. Priyantha Karunaratne, appreciated the ADT for their ongoing support. “Carrying out a social marketing campaign is a huge task and the Anti-Leprosy Campaign cannot do this alone” explained Dr. Karunaratne. “We have developed partnerships with many organisations for this purpose and the Alliance Development Trust is one of our main partners.”
The ADT’s work with the Anti-Leprosy Campaign is greatly supported by The Leprosy Mission – England and Wales. Earlier this year too, The Leprosy Mission facilitated discussions around this topic by sharing its expertise with various stakeholders and like-minded groups at a workshop in Colombo. The ADT’s partnership with the Ministry’s Anti-Leprosy Campaign is set to achieve great results in this fight against the spread of leprosy and the stigma formed against persons affected by leprosy. “After the completion of a study of knowledge, attitudes and practices on Leprosy, we hope to launch a social marketing campaign next year” said Dr. Karunaratne, further expounding on the new campaign. “This will be a mega project. We are grateful to have the support of the Alliance Development Trust and The Leprosy Mission which have pledged their continued support to see an end to leprosy in Sri Lanka.”