RTL_logo_Colour 250 x 250Rufiji Leprosy Trust is a charitable trust supporting the Kindwitwi Leprosy Care Centre in the Rufiji area of Tanzania.

The care centre assists in:

~ finding and treating people living with leprosy in the Rufiji area
~ supporting people all people affected by leprosy throughout the Rufiji area
~ promoting self-sufficiency of people living with leprosy and their families.

As leprosy is curable, many think the disease is no longer a problem, however it is listed as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) by the World Health Organisation, which means it is especially common in some of the world’s poorest areas.

The Trust prides itself on being totally managed by volunteer Trustees; the only paid employees are those who carry out the Trust’s work in Tanzania.

Please read on to find out more about our work, to make a donation or to catch up on the latest news.

Latest News

Summer news from Kindwitwi - education

Salum's  recent update also included information about education.

"We pleased to inform our friends who know of the Secondary School in Utete that the number of years that students can study has now been extended. Previously the highest level you could study up to was form four (graduating at 15 or 16 years of age) but now we also have forms five and six (so students can study up to the UK equivalent of A-Levels)," says Salum.

On the 19th of April this year the school celebrated its first Form Six graduation, where Abdullah Nguyu our Centre Manager, who is a school governor, was the guest of honour. These students then went on to sit their exams in May.

In the speech from the school they mentioned challenges that school faces like shortage of buildings, tables and chairs as well as different equipment and computers.

We are very pleased to announce your donations are going to support Rajebu, who featured in our last newsletter, to study in the sixth form at Utete School.

If you would like to contribute to our special education fund, then click here to donate via our dedicated William Powell education fund.

Alternatively you can securely contribute to help those people affected by leprosy via this link on our website.

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Leprosy update from Salum

The hand of one of the newly diagnosed patients showing finger damage due to loss of sensation in the skin at the finger.

Salum our shoemaker has sent us the latest update regarding leprosy.

"Over the past three months the outreach team detected three new cases of leprosy in the villages of Nyamwage, Jaribu and Ngorongo. All three cases presented symptoms that showed us the patients had multibacillary leprosy," he says.

All of the villages are in about a 60-mile radius of Utete, the main town in the regions. However the roads mean it can take many hourse at a time to get to each village, so we are very pleased we can make these trips to different communities throughout the Rufiji District.

You may recall from previous updates, there are two main types of the disease; paucibacillary and multibacillary Leprosy. Diagnosis is actually based on the number of poorly pigmented, numb skin patches identified by the doctor or specialist.

In very simple terms, if there are more than five patches then a diagnosis of multibacillary leprosy is given and it requires a specific type of treatment.

"The three patients identified were all adult men and sadly they did not present until they had signs of disability as a result of loss of sensation in the affected areas   Despite the vast reductions in the number of cases globally and increasing awareness about the causes of leprosy, social stigma is still highly associated with the disease and continues to be a barrier to self-reporting and early treatment," writes Salum.

"Perhaps the reason these three patients failed to come forward earlier was because of the concern that they would be rejected from their communities, lose their jobs, or even their families, if they did so. The good news is that all three patients are getting the treatment they need to recover from this infection."

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Harvest time in Kindwitwi

Sim sim harvest in Kindwitwi July 2018

We've just had an update from Salum our shoemaker who has informed us it's harvest time in Kindwitwi.

"It has been much better year and our farmers feel lucky," he says. "So now we are busy gathering rice, which is our staple food, but the most promising crop this time is Sim Sim (sesame)."

Other crops grown in the area include pumpkin, tomato and green vegetables. Salum says sim sim is not attractive to wild animals and they do not have to guard it as they have to do with other crops.

"Also, it is the best cash crop in our area!" he adds.

As well as being used for food, sesame is used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals so there is a high demand for this crop both locally and internationally.

Sesame is the perfect crop for farmers in Tanzania as, unlike maize and other traditional crops grown in the area, it is drought tolerant.

Kindwitwi has the added bonus that it is next to the Rufiji river, so the villagers’ fields (or shambas) have a top of fertile soil after the annual flood.


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