1958 – CIOMAL is founded in Geneva to coordinate the Order’s projects to fight against leprosy and help its victims.
1966 – The International Federation of Leprosy Agencies (ILEP) is founded. Made up of 17 organisations fighting against leprosy, its objective is to coordinate their approaches and methods, and to determine the responsibility for coordination in each country where the disease is prevalent. CIOMAL becomes one of the founding members.
1984 – Order of Malta establishes a leprosy clinic at Picos, in the state of Piaui, Brazil.
1999 – CIOMAL becomes involved with the Picos clinic.
1994 – Signing of Agreement between the Order of Malta and the Kingdom of Cambodia gives CIOMAL the role of key partner of the Ministry of Health for all matters concerning leprosy.
2004 – Cambodia’s National Institute of Public Health publishes survey financed by CIOMAL on knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with leprosy in Cambodia. Its findings – that leprosy is poorly understood by the public – lead to the development of CIOMAL’s recognition programme: information dissemination, including visual campaigns; emphasis that the disease is curable; the benefits of early diagnosis.
2007 – 17,000 leprosy patients cured to date. However, the major problem – early detection – still persists.
CIOMAL runs programmes in South-East Asia and South America.
CIOMAL finances and manages the care centres where prevention, medical assistance, social rehabilitation and medical staff training are organised in collaboration with the government of the hosting country.
CIOMAL is a charitable organisation under Swiss law. It is made up of a Foundation Board which meets once a year to establish and follow up its projects, an Executive Council, and a permanent secretariat in charge of supervising its programmes. With the exception of the Secretary General and her deputy, the members of the Committee and the Executive Council provide their services free of charge.
CIOMAL designs its projects to be as cost effective as possible; in particular, CIOMAL reinforces the self-sufficiency and consistency of the field programmes, with the aim of reducing the psychological distance between patient and medical staff.
At the Swiss national level, CIOMAL is a member of ZEWO (The Central Bureau for Charities), which guarantees the general public that its members can be held accountable against their commitments. CIOMAL is obligated to submit its annual audited accounts to ZEWO.
CIOMAL is funded by private donation only. The funds are provided by :
• ILEP Members
• Other institutional donors
• National Associations of the Order of Malta
• Revenues from: the Trimestrial Bulletin distributed in Switzerland; legacy; heritage
CIOMAL does not draw any state subsidy.
An independent auditor audits the accounts annually. They are then sent to the supervisory body, the Federal Authority of Foundations Surveillance of the Swiss Confederation.