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Sri Lanka launches ’’Act2Prevent’’ campaign to combat Leprosy stigma

15 May 2024 11:06 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, May 15 (Daily Mirror) -  Leprosy, a long-neglected disease, continues to impact the psychological well-being of those affected and imposes an unseen burden on Sri Lanka's economy. 

Despite significant medical advancements, the associated stigma and discrimination remain persistent challenges. In response, Sri Lanka has embarked on a journey to eliminate leprosy from the country, spearheaded by the newly launched "Act2Prevent" (A2P) campaign.

The Act2Prevent campaign is a collaborative initiative between the Anti-Leprosy Campaign (ALC) and the Alliance Development Trust (ADT). The ALC, the primary authority overseeing leprosy control activities in Sri Lanka, has partnered with ADT, a seasoned Non-Governmental Organization known for its grassroots work across the country's diverse districts. 

Together, they aim to address the stigma and myths surrounding leprosy, which have been identified as significant barriers to its elimination.

"Leprosy is curable, and treatment is freely available," said Dr. Nirupa Pallewatte, Director of the ALC. "Yet, the stigma associated with the disease prevents many from seeking help. Our campaign seeks to change that narrative and encourage early detection."

Focusing heavily on social media, the Act2Prevent campaign intends to disseminate accurate information to the public, emphasizing that leprosy is treatable and that early detection can prevent long-term complications. The campaign will utilize various platforms to reach a broad audience, providing education and debunking myths that contribute to discrimination.

"Act2Prevent is not just a campaign; it’s a call to action," stated Raghu Balachander, Executive Director of ADT. "We are calling on individuals, communities, and institutions to actively participate in reshaping how leprosy is perceived and treated. By spreading awareness and encouraging early detection, we can foster an environment of empathy and inclusion."

The A2P campaign is designed to be a beacon of hope, inviting everyone to join the movement towards eliminating leprosy-related stigma and suffering. It encourages participation in awareness challenges, involvement in early detection initiatives, and fostering a compassionate society that accepts and supports those affected by leprosy.


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