Structural inequality, prejudice, disability, and suppressed immune systems are all vulnerabilities that make persons affected by leprosy especially susceptible to facing the worst consequences of COVID-19.
The corticosteroids used to treat leprosy reactions significantly alter the immune system. These people are at high risk of developing COVID-19. Many persons affected live in middle and low-income countries and they belong to the more vulnerable groups. People affected by leprosy often do not have access to safe water and sanitation and are without a safe home.
In many regions of the world, our existing projects are sharing accurate and helpful information about COVID-19 so that the people and communities we support know the signs and symptoms, and the necessary preventative steps they can take. Some projects provide mobile hand-washing facilities, supply soaps, and disinfectants and encourage local production of cloth masks.