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The Foundation

Health and Development

Fontilles is a non-profit foundation that works for the right to health and fights against the social exclusion suffered by sick and disabled people, especially those affected by leprosy and other neglected diseases related to poverty. This work is carried out in Spain, in The Fontilles Social-Health Complex, and in other countries, where there are people who suffer exclusion and social rejection because of the disabilities or diseases they endure linked to poverty.

Fontilles started its activity in 1902. The founders, the Jesuit Father Carlos Ferrís and the lawyer Joaquín Ballester, worried about the life conditions of people affected by leprosy in Spain, decided to build a place where they could receive the necessary attention and recover their dignity.
The San Francisco de Borja Sanatorium (today, Fontilles Social-Health Complex) located in Vall de Laguar (Alicante), opened its doors on 13th January 1909.

The Sanatorium continues to be the National Leprosy Reference Centre in Spain and in the world, carrying out research and training in leprosy and other neglected diseases.

At present, the Sanatorium houses the Ferrís Hospital and the Borja Geriatric Center, centers where we ensure a professional healthcare of the highest quality, in accordance with the values that inspire all the actions of the Foundation.

The Borja Geriatric Center welcomes elderly people with high levels of dependency and great physical and mental deterioration. The Ferrís Hospital is a medium and long-stay hospital specialized in the care and rehabilitation of people in postoperative periods, convalescence of diseases, chronic pathologies, cerebrovascular accidents, etc.

To the extent that leprosy was controlled in Spain, in the 1980s, Fontilles started international cooperation. We carry out health cooperation projects focused on leprosy and other neglected diseases.

Fontilles also carries out sensitization and education for development campaigns to promote greater solidarity and awareness of the reality of other countries. These campaigns aim to promote a change in attitude fostering the solidarity and respect for people who suffer leprosy or other neglected diseases.

Links of interest

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Institutions with which Fontilles collaborates through agreements or other modalities


  • Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
  • Universidad Cardenal Herrera CEU
  • Universidad Católica de Valencia
  • Universidad Central de Barcelona
  • Universidad de Alicante
  • Universidad de Valencia
  • Universidad Jaime I de Castellón
  • Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche
  • Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

2Other national entities

  • Instituto de Salud Pública Carlos III
  • Sociedad Española de Medicina Humanitaria
  • Sociedad Española de Medicina Tropical y Salud Internacional (SEMTSI)
  • Hospital General Universitario de Guadalajara
  • Hospital Marina Salud de Denia
  • Colegio Enfermería de Barcelona
  • Colegio Oficial Abogados Valencia
  • Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Alicante
  • Coordinadora ONGs para el Desarrollo de España
  • Coordinadora Valenciana de ONGs para el Desarrollo
  • Fundación San Lázaro
  • Fundación Lealtad

3International entities

  • Centro Regional de Formación Dermatológica de Moshi (Tanzania)
  • Dirección Nacional de Epidemiología, Cuba
  • Federación Internacional de Organizaciones de lucha contra la lepra (ILEP)
  • Fundación de Dermatología Tropical y Venereología Alfredo da Matta de Manaos, Brasil
  • Fundación Mundo Sano (Argentina)
  • Hospital de Gambo (Etiopía)
  • Hospital SAMIC, Eldorado (Argentina)
  • Iniciativa Global de lucha contra la úlcera de Buruli – Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS)
  • Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí (IPK), Cuba
  • Ministerio de Salud y Bienestar Social de Nicaragua
  • Patronato de Gestión Social de Los Ríos (Ecuador)
  • Programa Nacional Lucha contra la lepra en India
  • Programa Nacional de Lucha contra la lepra (Honduras)
  • Programa Nacional de Lucha contra la lepra (México)
  • Sanatorio de Agua de Dios (Colombia)
  • University College de Londres (Reino Unido)
  • Universidad Nacional de Misiones- UNAM (Argentina)
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