“I had read the statistics that Angola has the highest percentage of amputees anywhere in the world; that one person in every three hundred and thirty-three lost a limb– most of them through land mine explosions,” Diana said to journalists in Angola.
“But that had not prepared me for reality.”
Photos of Diana in the minefield spread throughout the press like wildfire, and she was largely credited for the success of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty.
The Treaty began accepting signatures just months after Diana passed away, and ever since then, it has gained the support of over one hundred and twenty-two countries that prohibit the production, stockpiling, use, and transfer of landmines.
As for HIV/Aids and Leprosy, Diana worked to undo the severe misinformation and ignorance that consumed the public.
In 1987, she opened England’s very first Aid’s ward. There, she shook the hands of Aids patients without gloves in hopes of dispelling the myth that the virus could be transmitted through purely physical contact.
Diana also visited leprosy hospitals in Zimbabwe, India, and Nepal to raise awareness about the disease– in which sores and lumps form on the skin. If left untreated, leprosy can cause nerve damage and limb deformities– another medical condition that frightened the public.
“It has always been my concern to touch people with leprosy. Trying to show in a simple action that they are not reviled, nor are we repulsed,” Diana explained, according to the Leprosy Mission.
Finally, Diana worked hard to get homeless people in England off of the streets. She was a patron of the charity Centrepoint, where she worked to help adolescents and young adults between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five obtain shelter, food, and find a job.
Diana also instilled an awareness of this important cause in her children by taking her sons, Prince Harry, and Prince William, to visit Centrepoint’s shelters.
Then, in 2005, William decided to continue his mother’s legacy by becoming Centrepoint’s new patron and sleeping on the streets of London in 2009 to gain a truer understanding of homeless people’s hardships.