The Damien Foundation mainly deals with both leprosy and tuberculosis.
Occasionally, we support NGOs who tackle both diseases. First and foremost however, we support national programmes.
We also support a national programme against leishmaniasis in Nicaragua.
We do not support isolated HIV programmes. However, we do encourage a better coordination between HIV programmes and tuberculosis programmes. We also encourage efforts to improve the care given to patients suffering from HIV-tuberculosis.
What is leprosy?
Leprosy is a disease.
It is produced by a bacterium which multiplies very slowly. Find out what causes the disease, how it evolves and the dramatic consequences of this terrible scourge. More information about leprosy.
How to treat leprosy
There is an efficient treatment which is free and exists all over the world. The Damien Foundation has engaged in a long-term battle against the disease. We support programmes which detect and treat patients. These programmes help patients to rebuild their lives.
During the past 15 years, the number of patients with leprosy has fallen dramatically. This is due to shorter periods of treatment, more meticulously held records, increased international awareness and coordinated international cooperation. In some regions however, the number of cases recorded remains high.
Tuberculosis in a few words
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium. Without treatment, within two years it will prove lethal for half of the persons suffering from the disease. With adequate treatment, 95 % of patients can be completely cured. However, each year almost two million people die from the disease. Each year, eight to ten million people contract the disease. Of these cases, only half are detected, treated and recorded. One third of the world’s population are carriers of tuberculosis without actually developing the disease. Once a person’s immune defence level is lowered, the disease can strike again at any moment. More information about tuberculosis
Treatment of Tuberculosis
Most people can be cured through a frontline treatment called DOTS. This treatment is very cost effective.
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, tuberculosis used to kill one person out of seven in Western Europe. Then, people called it the “white plague”. Improved living conditions on the one hand, and on the other, more efficient methods of treatment have allowed us to arrive at a much less dramatic turn of events. We thought that we had won the battle against the disease, but no…
Leishmaniasis in a few words
Leishmaniasis, or “leprosy of the mountains” as it is called in Nicaragua, prevails in isolated regions that are difficult to get to. Four main variants exist and the worst of these causes death if it is not treated in time.
How to treat leishmaniasis
On average, the cost of treating a patient is €135. Our Foundation also started the campaign against leishmaniasis. It is a long-term battle. Treating patients is not the sole criterion. It is crucial to actually track them down as well.
Every year throughout the world, about 600,000 new cases of the disease are registered. Although it rages in eighty different countries, 90% of cases are crammed into just a few regions. These are usually remote and hard to get to.