The Vaseline Healing Project


Changing perceptions of the world's most ancient disease

A disease from the past that still exists today

Leprosy is one of the first diseases ever recorded by mankind. And yet, despite being entirely curable, it has still not been eradicated.

Leprosy is a bacterial infection which slowly infects the body and damages nerves under the skin. In time, the patient loses feeling in affected areas and their skin develops terrible sores and disfigurement.

A villager brings her child to the medical event.

This ancient disease is so stigmatized that patients avoid being checked for infection.

In Indonesia, 17,000 new cases of Leprosy have been reported every year since 2010. Many people who live in poor communities are too scared to come forward for treatment. Deep-rooted stigma causes victims to suffer unnecessarily and never go to the doctor for fear of being shunned as outcasts.

The World Health Organisation diagnosis chart and medication for leprosy.

If diagnosed early, Leprosy can be cured with free treatment from the World Health Organisation.

If the disease is caught before permanent damage has occured, a leprosy patient can make a full recovery - changing the course of their life forever.

Changing perceptions, changing lives

The Vaseline® Healing Project educated communities about the importance of early diagnosis, in addition to hosting travelling clinics and training sessions.1

A nurse inspects marks on a patient's skin.

Medics at the Healing Project event were trained to diagnose the disease.

During these clinics, several new cases of Leprosy were diagnosed in young children. Although this would have been a profound shock for the child's parent, it was also an enormous and positive turning point in their lives. With a clear diagnosis, doctors supported by the Vaseline® Healing Project were able to start treatment to cure the child. Multi-Drug Therapy that cures Leprosy is provided free of charge all over the world by the World Health Organisation.2

Understanding that your skin can reflect the health of your entire body is essential to fighting diseases like Leprosy.

A curious child looks straight at the photographer.

Early diagnosis and treatment can change lives for the better.

1 It is important to note that Vaseline® products are not a cure or treatment for Leprosy.

2 Further information about diagnosis and treatment for Leprosy (aka Hansen's Disease) is available online from the World Health Organisation link opens in new window.

Back to the Healing Project in Indonesia

Through the Vaseline® Healing Project we have helped heal the skin of

4,309,137 people

Our target is to help 5,000,000 people affected by poverty or emergencies by 2020.

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