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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

  • 28/12/2009

    The Order involved in significant developments in leprosy research

    The Order of Malta’s programme in France, consisting of financial support for laboratory research and clinical trials for leprosy, has provided important results. Launched in 2006, the programme refutes the World Health Organization’s declaration, in reply to the question of whether “leprosy has been eradicated”, that “only research has been wiped out” (WHO January 2007 […]

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  • Credentials presented by Morocco, Chile, Uruguay and Slovenia

    20/12/2009

    Emergency aid in the north of the country

    Malteser International has started relief measures in the districts of Marsabit, Samburu and Isiolo, the most severely affected north of the country with a population of 365,000 people. In co-operation with the local Catholic dioceses Malteser International will provide six health centres, two hospitals and one hospital dispensary with drugs and medical consumables for the […]

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  • Credentials presented by Morocco, Chile, Uruguay and Slovenia

    02/12/2009

    The Order of Malta in the Swine Flu Vaccination Campaign

    The Order of Malta’s volunteers in France have offered their services in the vaccination campaign against the AH1N1 virus infection, working in teams of nine to staff the Eure prefecture’s call centre. During their four-hour shifts they reply to the 600,000 people who have been called for vaccinations, booking them an appointment in one of […]

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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

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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]