I recently had an interesting conversation with a supporter about the words that we use to talk about leprosy. She was referring to a movement that tries to identify and challenge the ways that our language harms people. She reminded me of the importance of affirming people’s dignity in everything we say. It’s a matter of justice.
Join Lisa on the adventure of a lifetime! Lisa is one of the adventurous trekkers who will be discovering the Himalayas and helping people affected by leprosy in the Trek to Defeat Leprosy challenge.
Within just 24-hours of treatment with Multi-Drug Therapy, leprosy is no longer contagious. So current strategies focus on diagnosing and treating people as soon as possible. This intervention interrupts the spread of leprosy so less people will ultimately contract it. It also prevents people from developing permanent impairments.
Around 18 years ago Rangaraj developed unusual nodules on his face and leg. He didn’t know what was wrong. A gnawing concern compelled him to make the difficult journey across the mountains. A public hospital in Kathmandu recognised his signs as being leprosy. Upon this diagnosis, his wife left him because she feared she would contract leprosy. Medical staff at that hospital referred him to Anandaban hospital for treatment. When he arrived, Ranagaraj was depressed and scared. There were patients there who had clawed hands and amputations as a result of leprosy. He wanted to run away. He was terrified that the same thing would happen to him. But through the Hatia Self Help Group Rangaraj learned that leprosy is caused by a bacteria and is curable, that disabilities are preventable, and how important it is to treat leprosy early.
Like most of the artisans of Torulota Handicrafts, Nilufer Begum comes from a very poor family and never had the chance to go to school.
Meet Shuvam, a 14 year old boy who has suffered the effects of leprosy for four years. At age 10, a number of spots appeared on his hands, legs and back. He went to a skin doctor, but was given the wrong medicine and consequently, his condition deteriorated. However, after being alerted about the Anandaban Hospital by one of his friends, he received treatment and was soon cured. After finding out that he had been cured of the disease, Shuvam was overjoyed. He could see the spots disappearing from his skin and this confirmed that he was getting better. His parents were supportive through the entirety of his treatment and the family are incredibly thankful for the work of the The Leprosy Mission Australia.