How resilience is helping women win the battle with leprosy

Lepra and the University of Essex are co-hosting a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday 4 March at 7pm in the STEM Centre at the University’s Colchester Campus, followed by a drinks reception.

You are invited to join for this fascinating event which is part of Lepra’s centenary year and the University of Essex’s 60th anniversary celebrations. In 2022 Lepra and the University of Essex launched their partnership which enables them to collaborate on projects and academic research where they share common interests, to advance the fields of public and global health.

Celebrated around the world, International Women’s Day recognises women’s achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

Lepra is a UK based charity working with people affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis to overcome these diseases in India and Bangladesh. Lepra hope that by sharing stories from women affected by leprosy, and from those involved in research, treatment and in communities, that you will be inspired to understand more about this neglected disease.

World-leading leprologist Emeritus Professor Diana Lockwood, who has devoted her career to research and treating people with leprosy, will open the event and talk about her work and achievements. Manikyamma from India and Maksuda from Bangladesh will speak about how leprosy adversely affects women and how, through their resilience and hard work, they have turned their lives around. Maria del Mar Marais and Mowmita Basak, Lepra’s programme managers, will share how they work directly with teams in India and Bangladesh to bring about lasting change in communities affected by leprosy.

The short presentations will be followed by a panel discussion featuring colleagues from the University of Essex and will offer an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. One of the panellists will be Kamrun Koly, a researcher from Bangladesh, who was awarded a Human Rights Centre Scholarship and is in partnership with Lepra to carry out some of her doctoral research on the human rights issues around neglected tropical diseases, which includes gender. Her findings will be embedded in Lepra’s Bangladesh programmes.

Admission to the event is free and open to all but please reserve a seat either via Eventbrite, by emailing or by telephoning 01206 873270 in advance. This event will also be live-streamed on YouTube and you can reserve a ‘virtual viewing’ ticket via Eventbrite.