A Filipino lady, previously infected with leprosy but who has since been successfully treated, recounts her experiences of living with the discrimination and stigma the disease brings. In spite of the way she has been treated, her outlook on life remains positive and she keeps smiling.
Around 2,000 new leprosy patients are diagnosed annually in the Philippines, many of whom are left visibly and irreversibly disfigured.
The Novartis Foundation seeks to interrupt the transmission of leprosy in the Philippines through early diagnosis with the Leprosy Alert and Response Network System (LEARNS) program. LEARNS is mobile-phone based leprosy referral system to improve early detection. The program will also aim to develop the groundwork for laboratory testing and encourage innovative solutions to detect leprosy.