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Canadian Organization to Help Prevent Covid-19 Deaths Among India’s Most Vulnerable

[logo] effect:hope - The Leprosy Mission Canada (grey and blue with white background)

Photo: Two rows of people in India at a vaccine site. Back row from left to right: 2 men wearing black covid masks, a woman wearing a yellow covid mask and a man wearing a green mask. Front row: 3 individuals in wheelchairs. From left to right: one man we

A group of people affected by leprosy received their COVID-19 Vaccine.

A nurse wearing white and a white covid-19 cloth mask inserts a needle into a woman wearing a green sari's arm. The woman receiving the vaccine is affected by leprosy. She wears dark glasses to assist her vision and has a bandage on one hand. A helper (wo

At a hospital vaccine site in India, a woman affected by leprosy receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

They want us to register on the government portal, but I cannot understand it. I am afraid. I am worried I will not receive my vaccination.”
— Abdul Nasar, a 50-year-old leprosy patient
MARKHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA, May 10, 2021 / -- As COVID-19 deaths continue to grow exponentially in India, one Canadian NGO is stepping up to help that country’s most vulnerable people access the life-saving jab. Effect Hope, a Canadian Christian global health organization focused on supporting people with neglected tropical diseases, like leprosy, will now help to ensure that Indians affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF), diseases that cause discrimination and stigma, have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the situation is dire for all, hundreds of thousands of people with leprosy, LF, and associated disabilities face severe disparities in accessing health care. Therefore, Effect Hope will partner with Lepra UK and Lepra India to help as many as possible receive transportation to and from a vaccine site and both doses of the vaccine.

“Effect Hope’s mission is to bring hope and restoration to people affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy,” said Kim Evans, CEO of Effect Hope. “We want to ensure that these vulnerable people are not forgotten in the race to get vaccines out. It’s simply the right thing to do. We cannot stand by and watch them die.”

Abdul Nasar, a 50-year-old leprosy patient, has been living with leprosy for 10 years and has a disability. He travelled to his nearest government hospital and waited there for three days. He was turned away. Abdul says, “They want us to register on the government portal, but I cannot understand it. I am afraid. I am worried I will not receive my vaccination.”

With new cases of COVID-19 top over 400,000 per day in India’s deadly second wave, there are growing concerns that both the Government and private health-care systems are folding under the weight of demand for both services and the vaccine.

“People with diseases like leprosy and LF face discrimination and stigma in their daily life. It’s clear that they will come upon many barriers as a billion adults clamour for vaccines. Marginalized people, who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, will be at the back of the line unless they receive support,” explained Maneesh Phillip, Director of International Programs for Effect Hope, “Lives are at stake.”

The program launched this past weekend, beginning with a community where 80 per cent of the residents are affected by leprosy and LF.

It only costs $35 per person for both doses of the vaccine and safe transportation to and from the vaccination site. There is an urgent need for funding to reach as many as possible. The organization is inviting Canadians to reach out and support this special initiative by visiting


Effect Hope is a Canadian Christian global health organization that partners with others to bring hope and restoration to people affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis. These diseases cause illness and disabilities, perpetuate poverty, invite discrimination, and eliminate hope. For about 130 years, Effect Hope has worked hand-in-hand with affected communities and people to find innovative solutions to ensure that those living with neglected tropical diseases thrive with hope. With partners and supporters, Effect Hope seeks to create a world where people overcome neglected tropical diseases like leprosy – A world full of hope.

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Anjay Nirula
Effect Hope
+1 416-459-9198