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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Diseases & Epidemics

Treating neglected diseases across five continents

Hansen’s disease or leprosy is a ‘Disease of Poverty’ that can be cured. Widely stigmatised throughout the centuries and still today, leprosy occurs in conditions of severe poverty – of malnutrition, overcrowding and lack of care. In the last fifty years the Order of Malta has fought for its eradication whilst caring for the afflicted.

Today, research programmes for the care and rehabilitation of people with leprosy are operational, especially in Africa, South East Asia and South America.

The Order continues its work in combating major epidemics of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS – still the prime causes of death in Africa. Its relief corps in South Africa provides life-changing HAART drugs for people living with HIV, regularly taking medicines via its mobile clinic to patients living alone in poverty and isolation. Again in South Africa, the Order runs a facility in Mendani for children whom the spread of HIV/AIDs has made orphans.

Over recent years Malteser International has also been active in preventing the Ebola virus from spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo, working in close cooperation with the World Health Organization and local health authorities.

Malteser International fights against moderate and severe malnutrition in children in northern Uganda, where droughts and overpopulation have had disastrous effects. In Haiti – where the Order of Malta has been active since 1995 – cholera-prevention programmes are vital to stop the spread of the disease.

Disease & Epidemics- Latest Interventions

  • 27/01/2008

    55th World Leprosy Day

    Over 11,000 volunteers from the Order of Malta’s French Association have raised funds for treating people affected by leprosy, a disease still present in 100 countries. 260,000 new cases were identified in 2007, of which 10% are young people under 14 years of age. Research and assistance to the sick are priorities of the Ordre […]

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  • 04/01/2008

    National award for the best tuberculosis treatment centre

    The Riruta diagnosis and treatment centre on the outskirts of Nairobi, financed by Malteser International, has won the 2007 national award as best tuberculosis treatment clinic. In the shanty towns of Nairobi – in which 50% the capital’s population live – the Order of Malta runs eight medical centres that assist 600,000 people. Their main […]

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  • 30/05/2007

    Fighting tuberculosis, HIV, malaria in Africa

    – Order experts in fact finding visit to Kenya, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. – Kenyan Vice President praises Order of Malta support on the ground. A team of Order representatives inspecting Malteser International projects in Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, was met by the Kenyan Vice President, Moody Awori, who […]

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The Order of Malta’s activities in 120 countries

Map indicates capital cities of countries where the Order of Malta runs medical, social, or humanitarian projects

The Order of Malta’s activities in 120 countries


Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Magistral Palace, Via Condotti, 68 Rome - Italy

Tel. +39.06.67581.1 | [email protected]