You can help Stop Leprosy in its tracks
Leprosy has been around for hundreds of years. Although it is curable, if not detected at an early stage it can have devastating consequences for an infected person, such as physical disabilities and life-long stigma and discrimination.
The most vulnerable are the most likely to contract leprosy. Poverty, poor personal hygiene, and inadequate sanitation can be linked to the increasing number of leprosy cases. Children are more prone to the disease as they come in contact with people suffering leprosy in their community and cannot take care of their personal hygiene on their own.
Since leprosy was declared ‘eliminated’ in Nepal a few years ago, training in diagnosis and treatment were considered less important, which left many patients undiagnosed. INF’s health camps offer great opportunities to detect new cases and to give advice for treatment of related health problems.
Detecting leprosy early can prevent physical disabilities and reduces the risk of spreading the virus further.
Help us to stop leprosy in Nepal.
could pay for check ups and skin smear tests for 20 people visiting an INF health camp
could fund training for a community health volunteer, so they can identify new cases
could cover the cost of training a laboratory technician to accurately diagnose new cases
Rajesh's Story - Why we need to stop leprosy in its tracks
“What is life?” I always wondered. I used to think life is a difficult journey, it has given me always new and difficult challenges which I had to face by myself.
But when I came to Shining Hospital, my view towards life was totally changed.”
These are the words of Rajesh, a 22 year old patient at Shining Hospital Surkhet. His parents are very poor, so Rajesh left school and went to work in a restaurant in India to support his family. After a few months, the family decided to send Rajesh to Malaysia, hoping he could earn more money in another country. Initially, all went well for Rajesh. He found a job in sales and even got promoted to be a supervisor.
“It was like all dreams had come true. I thought it was the end of my sorrows, my pain and my difficult life.” Rajish recalls.
Last year Rajish returned to Nepal to see his family. After three months at home he started to feel weak in his legs, so he went for a medical check-up and was diagnosed with leprosy. He was deeply shocked and wondered “Why always me? Why?”
After taking medication for a few months, Rajish felt better and decided to go to India to earn money, but sadly, he stopped taking the medicine. The weakness in his legs returned and he was diagnosed again with leprosy. Rajish felt depressed and returned to his family.
How INF got involved
One of their neighbours suggested that he should go to Shining Hospital Surkhet. He was immediately admitted and received treatment. His health improved day by day, and he learned about his condition, its complications and how to take care of himself.
He says “Before coming here I used to think, life is unfair. It has given pain and sorrows only to me. But here, my view towards life totally changed when I met other leprosy patients – young, old - even children…People with no fingers or toes, patients with no family members – but all had had hope and happiness in their eyes. It changed my perception about life.
"I used to think “why only me?”, but now I say thank you it’s me, as I found such a lovely and caring INF family here. Proudly I can say INF is my second family, where I can share my feelings, my problems and my life. INF has taught me to live life beautifully. Life is beautiful, but it is our thought that makes it complicated, so be positive, think positive and live positively. This is what I learned here.”