Millions of sick people and outcasts have got medical treatment or social support through the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (DAHW). The registered association was founded in the year 1957 as the Deutsches Aussätzigen-Hilfswerk” (German Leprosy Relief Association – DAHW). Since that time DAHW has been giving sustainable assistance to sick and marginalised people in developing and emerging countries – irrespective of political or religious belief.

At the beginning of 2003 the association changed its name so as to reflect the other major focus of its work, tuberculosis, in its name, too. The acronym DAHW is still used to ease recognition of donors and long-standing supporters.

Seal of Approval

Around 70,000 people entrust their donations to DAHW annually, many of whom have been doing so for decades. This relief association has been awarded the “Seal of Approval” from the German Institute for Social Affairs (Deutsches Zentralinstitut für Soziale Fragen – DZI) for many years now for its responsible use of donated funds.


In the scope of the 2010 prize for transparency DAHW German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association was classed as outstanding for the high quality of its reporting.

DAHW in the field

DAHW relief projects comply with the needs of each place and are very varied: they range from supporting a single hospital, to the training of government health staff to supporting disabled and marginalised people. DAHW co-operates with churches as project holders, with other relief organisations or with government health services. On the spot, mostly local co-workers of DAHW ensure the sustainability of the work and funds are used prudently. In many projects even former patients are working for DAHW. Support for victims of diseases of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America is at the heart of DAHW’s engagement.

DAHW in Germany

More than 2,000 people volunteer for DAHW. They collect donations, provide information about the diseases and invite others to join them in their activities also. In many cities these volunteers have formed action groups and organise bigger events as well.

DAHW works within strong national and international networks:

ILEP – International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations

ILEP co-ordinates the collaboration of 14 members in order to fight effectively against leprosy around the world. Resources are pooled, relief programmes receive reciprocal support, experience is exchanged, and contacts and common strategies are synchronised with national programmes.

Stop TB-Partnership

This is an alliance of 500 governmental and non-government organisations, initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is working towards controlled and standardised treatment of all persons infected with tuberculosis in line with the currently valid WHO strategy.

Stop-TB- Forum Germany

A platform of relief agencies from Germany, which are co-ordinating their fight against tuberculosis. The focal points of the forum are education of the public in Germany about the dangers of TB, as well as increasing funding for research.

DZK – Deutsches Zentralkomitee zur Bekämpfung der Tuberkulose

(German Central Committee for the Fight against Tuberculosis)

Founded in 1895 when in Germany every fourth person capable of work was dying of tuberculosis. Robert Koch was among its founder members. Today, DZK is a renowned institute in the fight against tuberculosis. Here research, teaching and practice are successfully linked.

Action against Aids

is a federation of around 400 organisations working in the field of AIDS and development co-operation including grass-roots groups and parishes. The aim of the federation is to ensure that political bodies and the pharmaceutical industry assume greater responsibility in the fight against AIDS worldwide.


Association of German Non-Governmental Development Organizations

More than 100 German non-governmental organisations have joined forces as VENRO. Among other activities, they lobby for the fight against poverty, for the realisation of the Millenium Development Goals of the UN and for human rights issues. VENRO is an opinion-leading lobbyist and dialogue partner for German development co-operation.