Diseases of poverty and stigmatisation 

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect the world’s most underprivileged, often with grave consequences for the patients and their families. More than a billion people in almost 150 countries are infected with NTDs. The diseases can cause chronic illness and disabilities leading to stigma and social exclusion. Healthcare costs arising from NTDs have a severe negative impact on the economies of the most affected countries which at the same time undermines development goals. If treated holistically, the majority of NTDs can however be controlled, prevented, eliminated and even eradicated.

Our approach

Since its inception in 1957, DAHW has assisted millions of people suffering from leprosy and other NTDs through active case finding and early treatment. DAHW has contributed substantially to the development of the multi-drug treatment (MDT) scheme - now the current standard therapy for leprosy. Over time, DAHW gradually expanded its support services including other NTDs, e.g. Buruli ulcer. Applying a holistic approach, DAHW also promotes the physical and social rehabilitation and empowerment of people with disabilities often caused by the diseases. It provides capacity building and training of health care workers and staff of national programmes. The organization is further engaged in research, e.g. in the area of leprosy prophylaxis for contact persons.

Where we work

  • Clinical management of leprosy, Buruli ulcer and other NTDs executed directly by DAHW staff and local partners, e.g. in Liberia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Paraguay, Nigeria, Togo
  • Outreach activities, mobile clinics (including mobile surgery) and active case finding through skin and wound camps in marginalized populations e.g. in Togo, Pakistan, Nigeria and Brazil
  • Support to national programmes in coordination,supervision and information system functioning in Liberia
  • Joint disability and chronic morbidity care for patients with NTD-related disabilities (e.g. leprosy and lymphatic fi lariasis) in India
  • Support to schistosomiasis control intervention in Tanzania
  • Operational and basic research in Tanzania
  • Leishmaniosis treatment and control in Afghanistan

Facts & Figures

DAHW applies a holistic approach to NTDs that covers diagnostics, treatment, active case finding and support in rehabilitation measures and research. As a worldwide recognized specialist in leprosy, DAHW manages more than 100 projects related to NTDs. DAHW supports projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Its offi ces are managed by local staff cooperating with governmental health departments and local and international partners in the health care and social fields.

Partners & Networks

Partners: World Health Organisation (WHO),European Union and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Networks: International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), Fondation Follereau Luxemburg, ANESVAD, Spain, KIT, Netherlands, CBM, Neglected Tropical Diseases NDGO Network.