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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

  • Credentials presented by Morocco, Chile, Uruguay and Slovenia


    Sudan: death rate at zero in the recent treatment of sleeping sickness

    Remarkable results from the Order’s project treating patients with tripanosomiosis (sleeping sickness) in the Yei province of the Sudan have been reported after a recent visit from a World Health Organisation (WHO) evalation team. In the past, people in Yei county had to travel a long distance for treatment. At the beginning of 2002, Malteser […]

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  • Traditional pilgrimage Loreto


    Traditional pilgrimage to Loreto

    Pilgrims, medics and paramedics, members and volunteers from the Order’s Italian Delegations took part in the traditional pilgrimage to the shrine of Loreto, in the province of Ancona, central Italy, from 24 to 26 October. The days of celebration began on Via Lucis and ended inside the Sanctuary. The pilgrims participated in the daytime Mass […]

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  • Credentials presented by Morocco, Chile, Uruguay and Slovenia


    Sudan: new Order of Malta clinic treats sleeping-sickness patients

    In the southern Sudanese town of Yei, the Order of Malta German Association has opened a new clinic for sufferers of trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), a widespread disease in the Sudan. Government officials, representatives of the diocese of Yei and local dignitaries, together with the German Ambassador, took part in the opening ceremony. Since 1997, the […]

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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]