Visit by Leprosy World president

The cheque presentation from the Forfar branch of Leprosy Mission.

The cheque presentation from the Forfar branch of Leprosy Mission.

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Leprosy Mission members from Dundee joined their colleagues at Forfar East & Old Parish Church on Friday for a presentation by William Cairns Smith OBE, Emeritus Professor of Public Health at Aberdeen University, and President of Leprosy Mission International.

He gave a fully illustrated talk on the scale of Leprosy world-wide, the help available and the social stigma which still exists around the disease in many countries, especially among women and girls.

Globally in 2012, the number of chronic cases of leprosy was 189,000 and the number of new cases was 230,000, most of these in 16 countries, with India accounting for more than half and Brazil close behind.

The number of chronic cases has decreased from some 5.2 million in the 1980s. Through Prof Smith’s work in research and policy development, over 14 million patients have been treated resulting in a 90 per cent reduction in case-load.

During the meeting the Forfar Branch presented a cheque for £1,245 to the Dundee Committee Treasurer for Leprosy Mission Scotland.

Pictured, from left - Jan Brown, Forfar Treasurer; Andrew Blakeman, Dundee Committee Treasurer; Prof Cairns Smith; James Kay, Dundee Committee Chairman who led worship and the Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin, host minister and chairperson of Forfar Leprosy Mission.