International Development Committee inquiry on Disability Inclusion Development

The Leprosy Mission Nigeria submission


The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN) aims to bring healing and restoration to people affected by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases as well as people living with disabilities in Nigeria. Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) is caused by a bacillus (germ) called Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae). Left untreated, leprosy causes permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes. The loss of sensation makes everyday activities challenging and causes patients to develop large ulcers and permanent disabilities such as paralysis, loss of limbs, sight and ability to work.

TLMN believes in the importance of ensuring that from first contact to the last, people affected by leprosy are treated with dignity, fairness, integrity and openness. Our programs involve collaborating with hospitals, faith based organizations, corporate organizations, community leaders, volunteers, government at all levels and individuals to provide holistic transformation to the lives of people affected by leprosy and people with disabilities.


1.0 The adequacy of FCDO’s new disability and inclusion rights strategy as a framework for approaching disability-inclusive development

1.1 TLMN would like to emphasize the importance of a long-term and sustainable approach to disability-inclusive programming. This includes not only financial support but also capacity building for local organizations and communities to continue and expand disability-inclusive efforts. We believe that FCDO's continued commitment to disability inclusion will contribute to the overall well-being and social inclusion of individuals with disabilities, particularly those affected by leprosy and neglected tropical diseases. TLM Nigeria remains committed to working in partnership with FCDO to achieve these goals and welcomes any opportunities for collaboration and dialogue to enhance the impact of our joint efforts in this critical area.

2.0 The adequacy of FCDO’s spending on disability-inclusive programmes and the impact of cuts to ODA programmes on people with disabilities

TLM Nigeria acknowledges the efforts made by the FCDO in supporting disability-inclusive programs. However, it is our belief that there is room for increased investment in this area. Leprosy is a significant contributor to disabilities, and our projects primarily target individuals affected by leprosy. While we have seen positive impacts from FCDO funding, we believe that allocating additional resources to disability-inclusive programs would allow us to expand our reach and enhance the depth and sustainability of our interventions. Increased funding could help us develop more comprehensive and holistic support systems for individuals living with disabilities caused by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases.

TLMN and our partners have been affected by the reduction in aid from the UK Government. Our orthopedic project, the case finding project have indirectly experienced aid cuts. These cuts have had an impact on the scope and outcomes of our initiatives. Due to funding reductions, we had to scale down projects, leading to fewer beneficiaries being reached and a reduced range of interventions. For example, the project's intended outcomes, which included improved economic self-sufficiency and social inclusion for people with disabilities, were compromised due to these cuts.

3.0 FCDO’s work to encourage and facilitate the participation of people with disabilities, and relevant advocacy groups, in developing its strategy and approach.

The Leprosy Mission Nigeria works with people with disability on a very regular basis but neither we nor our partner organisations have been involved in FCDO consultations. We however believe that these consultations about disability-inclusive programs would provide valuable opportunities to share insights, exchange ideas, and ensure that the needs and voices of people with disabilities are considered when designing and implementing development projects. We encourage continued collaboration and consultation to further strengthen disability-inclusive strategies and initiatives.