Photo Exhibition - A New Face for Leprosy
This year we are launching a more positive image of leprosy in which patients are not stigmatised by their disease and regard it as a treatable infection: The New Face for Leprosy Project. Leprosy is characterised by pictures of severely disabled patients. When new patients see these and hear local misbeliefs about leprosy they are likely to become depressed. Many patients affected by leprosy, however, have overcome the stigma of leprosy and developed lives and careers.
Alexander Kumar, Diana Lockwood and Saba Lambert set up the project. With the help of two local translators, Alexander photographed and interviewed patients in Addis Ababa, living around the main leprosy referral hospital. They had survived many setbacks and talked about these openly. Many patients had been delayed in their diagnosis, had problems taking their treatment, and had experienced rejection by their families. Most wanted to give new patients hope. Working, feeling independent financially and having a family were the things that made most of the interviewees feel strong and integrated.
The exhibition will start with an address by speakers including project members, leprosy patients and representative from Lepra.