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Rukkaiya is 30 years old and married with four children aged from 18 months to 12 years. Thanks to support from Heroes of Hope like you through The Leprosy Mission, Rukkaiya can look forward to healing and the chance to build a better life for her family.

“I first noticed a headache, then my chest became swollen, and the pain then descended to my abdomen and legs. Then my right leg began to increase in size. I was in my third trimester with Saima. My husband and I agreed that we should try to decrease the swelling by undertaking a localised lancing.

When we did it, we expected pus to come out. But instead, only blood flowed. Then, a whitish substance started to flow. When I was admitted to hospital, I underwent surgery on my leg, and I lost a lot of blood. I need 5 litres of blood to be transfused. I ended up remaining in hospital for nine months.

I was charged 54,000 Naira ($225), but thankfully we only had to pay a balance of 5,000 Naira (AUD$22). But to get even this money, my husband had to sell the farm he inherited from his father. This was so upsetting for us. 

While this was happening, armed bandits attacked my village. Everyone fled, but due to the pain of the ulcer, I was not able to run away.

So, my husband took our children, and I stayed behind. Nine armed men came, shooting randomly, and threatening to rape me. They came to steal our livestock. When they tried to take the cows away, one of them would not move. So, they shot and killed it, so we could not continue to benefit from it.

It was terrifying. I felt like I was going to die.

It was only because I recognised one of the armed men that they spared me. However, one person in my village was killed that day.”


“This is the second year I’ve been dealing with this ulcer. Thankfully, around 5 months after I was discharged from hospital, my uncle told me about The Leprosy Mission Clinic in Gusau. He had received treatment here for a similar issue, and suggested I come because of the good service he received.

They had looked after him well. I have only seen improvement since coming to this clinic.

Before I came to this clinic, I was unable to sleep at night, I was so worried. The ulcer was not improving and was getting worse.

But now I can sleep, knowing I am getting good care. The severe pain has subsided, and the wound is healing. By regularly undertaking soaking, oiling, and dressing, in conjunction with taking antibiotics and other medicines, it has definitely helped. 

I want God to heal me, and for me to stay in one piece. When this happens, I know all will be well. Thank you to The Leprosy Mission supporters and to the Australian government for supporting me to access the healthcare and the drugs that are beginning to cure me.

Thank you!”

When Rukkaiya arrived at The Leprosy Mission Clinic you support in Gusau in Nigeria, she was suffering from a septic ulcer on her leg. It is suspected to be a Buruli Ulcer, another Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD).


 can kick-start Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) support for 4 months to begin healing someone suffering from leprosy

can support early diagnosis of children, before leprosy can cause lifelong disability

 is vital to help provide operations, prosthetics and rehabilitation for people like Rukkaiya

Every donation you make to projects in Nigeria, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and selected projects in Nepal will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to reach more people. The Leprosy Mission Australia has committed to contribute $1 for every $5 received from the Australian government. Your donation will allow us to extend programs.