A life damaged by disability and fear


By: effect:hope


Eight years ago, Shanu noticed a blister on her hand. After a few weeks it was still there. Soon the blister became a deeply infected ulcer. But it didn’t stop there. Sores began to appear all over her hands. Just a young child, she was shamed into leaving school. The other children bullied her, teasing her and whispering behind her back.

Her parents took her to a local healer. But he had never seen anything like this. She used the expensive ointments he gave her. But they were powerless to stop the infections. Shanu had leprosy and needed medical intervention that he couldn't provide. 

He didn’t know that without proper treatment, Shanu would live with extreme disability for the rest of her life.

Sadly it was years later when our partners in Bangladesh discovered Shanu. Her disability was beyond surgical repair by this time. We were able to give her the cure and provide mobility aids to make her life easier, as well as financial help. We are also working within her community to break down the stigma of leprosy and show people that it is nothing to fear. By teaching people to recognize the signs of leprosy, they will be able to get treatment faster and avoid disability. 

(Photo: Tom Bradley)