Neglected tropical diseases


The infectious disease leprosy has existed for thousands of years. It is found above all in the world’s poorest areas. Leprosy can be cured completely, but without timely diagnosis and treatment results in serious disabilities.

A disease of poverty

Leprosy thrives in environments where hygiene is poor, and where people are malnourished and live in cramped conditions. Leprosy is transmitted imperceptibly from person to person as an airborne infection, and decades can pass until the disease breaks out.

In many countries, fear of infection results in the stigmatization of victims from family and society. Through the projects in Africa and Asia, FAIRMED ensures that leprosy sufferers receive medical assistance and are able to participate in social life.

Buruli ulcer

Buruli ulcer is an insidious neglected tropical disease. The disease is often only detected when patients are already suffering from large wounds or disfigurements. Most Buruli ulcer patients are under 15 years old.

Medical background of Buruli ulcer

Every year, thousands of people in Africa, Asia and South America are newly diagnosed with Buruli. The Buruli bacteria get under the surface of the skin, where they eat away at the subcutaneous tissue, without causing pain or fever for the victims. When the skin over the infected areas eventually dies, ulcers appear.

Without treatment, the infection continues to spread. Victims are severely crippled, unable to walk, and can no longer use their arms and hands. If Buruli ulcer is recognized too late, the patient will inevitably require extensive surgical treatment, including skin grafts or amputation.