Church-led Partnerships with Interfaith Religious Leaders and Government for Raising Awareness on Leprosy in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a leprosy endemic country with one of the highest incidences of the disease globally. Low levels of leprosy awareness were identified as one of the reasons for high prevalence. In order to address this, inter-faith communities were mobilized by trained church leaders to work together to increase leprosy awareness, reduce stigma and support people affected by leprosy, building strong relationships across inter-religious divides in the process. The efforts were highly successful with over 30,000 people involved in leprosy awareness events. This shows that faith communities can be an important partner for development agencies and governments, churches can make an impact in improving health outcomes even where they are a persecuted minority as well as contribute to inter-communal peacebuilding efforts.
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