Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

Sustainable Development Goal 3, “Ensure healthy lives and
promote well-being for all and all ages” is our thematic focus this
month. We are calling on all members to take action in your community to
tackle health-related issues.

Target 3.3 calls to End the epidemics of neglected tropical diseases
and other communicable diseases” including leprosy.

The 27th January was World Leprosy Day with the theme of ending discrimination,
stigma and prejudice. The majority of people affected by leprosy are believed to
experience some form of stigma and discrimination. Up to half will face mental
health issues, such as depression or anxiety.
World Merit members around the world supported #WorldLeprosyDay to help
raise awareness about the impact discrimination and social stigma have on people
affected by leprosy, and how these negative attitudes hamper efforts to stop the
spread of the disease.

In the weeks preceding World Leprosy Day, a team from World Merit Nigeria
established a relationship with the Manager of the only leprosy facility in the
state.
The facility is home to twenty people living with leprosy and caregivers. The team
were also told that some 75 people who were not full time admitted in the centre,
however, they come to the facility to receive treatment on a Sunday and return
home.

Initially, when the team arrived, the people living there were surprised. Once the
the team explained that they were from World Merit and they wanted to share a day
in the facility to show they were supportive and non-discriminatory, then they
people living there “cheered up, smiled and laughed with us”.

The team spent a full day at the facility and even shared refreshments they had
brought along. The most important part of the day was to perform a traditional
dance together and this was a perfect way to demonstrate how important
inclusiveness and non-discrimination are to the World Merit team.

Thank you to the team in Nigeria who harnessed the opportunity to be radically
inclusive and took action towards SDG 3.3.

If you would like to make waves of impact like this in your community,
reach out to joshua@worldmerit.org for support and guidance. Moving, shaking,
change-making!




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