Church-led Partnerships with Interfaith Religious Leaders and Government for Raising Awareness on Leprosy in Sri Lanka

  • James Samuel Pender The Leprosy Mission England and Wales
  • Cletus Praveen Gomez Alliance Development Trust
  • Ranasinghe Arachchige Tuder Mahesh Perera Alliance Development Trust
  • John Anthony Williams Alliance Development Trust
  • Ravindran Roshan Alliance Development Trust
Keywords: Leprosy, Health, church, inter-faith, Sri Lanka

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

James Samuel Pender, The Leprosy Mission England and Wales

Programmes & Advocacy Officer-Asia

References

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Gomez CP, Wijesinghe MSD, de Silva M, Perera M, Williams JA, Ravindran R. 2019. Interfaith teams for leprosy control: reaching the unreached. 20th International Leprosy Congress. Manilla 2019. [Abstract Number: ILC2. P-350]

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Published
2019-12-23
How to Cite
Pender, J. S., Gomez, C. P., Perera, R. A. T. M., Williams, J. A., & Roshan, R. (2019). Church-led Partnerships with Interfaith Religious Leaders and Government for Raising Awareness on Leprosy in Sri Lanka. Christian Journal for Global Health, 6(2), 26-32. https://doi.org/10.15566/cjgh.v6i2.297