Every day new leprosy cases are detected, although the burden of leprosy continues to decline globally. Last year more than 228 thousand people were diagnosed with leprosy in 2010 and Sudan is one of the few countries that reported more than 1000 new cases.
Nyibol is one of the people with leprosy in South Sudan and one of the residents of the leper village Agok. Many of the lepers inthe village are blind and suffer from disabilities. Nyibol, who is a widow with five children, tells: ‘I am blind and disabled. I have suffered from leprosy which has disabled me for 25 years already.' Dorcas supports her and more than 200 other lepers in the village with food, provision of other basic needs and pays school fees for the children.
In the Western world, leprosy is often regarded as an ancient disease that was eradicated many years ago. Therefore, on World Leprosy Day attention is drawn to the current lepers who are among the poorest of all people. The day is annually held on 29th January.