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Friday, October 18, 2019
In this interview with IPS Voices from the Global South, Jorge Biswas of The Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh (TLMIB) explains to Stella Paul how his organisation has been creating self-help groups and help those affected by the disease create livelihoods and businesses through micro-financing.
MANILA, Sep 18 2019 (IPS) - The 20th International Leprosy Congress just wrapped up in Manila, Philippines last week. Alongside policy makers, diplomats, medical researchers, doctors, donors and academics, several Hansen’s disease-affected people’s organisations also participated in the 3-day congress that was co-sponsored by The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF).
One of these organisations is The Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh (TLMIB), which has been working in 32 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts. TLMIB has been creating self-help groups and help those affected by the disease find livelihood through micro-financing. The strategy has been showing great results in Chittagong – the largest province of the country – where the self-help groups have become completely self-reliant.
In this interview with IPS Voices from the Global South, Jorge Biswas of TMLIB says that their goal is now to replicate the success of Chittagong across Bangladesh.
Their success is likely to be highlighted later this year as Bangladesh is expected to host a national conference on leprosy with support from the SHF and TNF. The conference, he hopes, will help garner more support from the national government and strengthen the current global campaign for zero leprosy, human rights and sustainability of leprosy-affected organisations.
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