HER FAMILY STAYED TOGETHER
Sharmila may remind you of the women in your life.
She is married and has two kids whom she loves deeply. Sharmila is a stay-at-home mom, and her husband works hard to support the family. She dreams about her children’s futures.
But, in other ways, Sharmila’s life is quite different from the women you know. Her life was disrupted by a neglected tropical disease — leprosy.
Last year, Sharmila noticed a strange patch on her right hand for the first time, and then many more began appearing. During a community screening visit, Sharmila was visited by health-care workers, and they identified the early signs of leprosy.
Sharmila’s diagnosis was confirmed, and she began treatment. Unfortunately, when Sharmila told her husband about her diagnosis he allowed his prejudice and superstition to get the best of him, and he left.
Our team did not give up. They visited Sharmila’s husband to discuss leprosy and how it is easily cured. He realized that he had made a terrible mistake. He went to Sharmila immediately, and the family was reunited.
When you support our work, you are not just supporting medical intervention; you are helping repair families.
Sharmila has now completed the course of medicines that cure leprosy. Because the disease was caught and treated quickly, she has no physical impairments. She is grateful, “this help has saved my family from breaking up,” she said.
For just $125, early diagnosis and treatment for leprosy is a game changer. With rapid treatment, we can prevent disabilities that lead to poverty, isolation, and discrimination.
Your gift can be the difference between a healthy life and one of devastation.
An Unimaginable Choice
Extreme poverty coupled with leprosy or other neglected tropical diseases can create decisions that seem almost impossible. Families face choices and questions like, ‘can we afford medical care?’
Kumar lives with his parents and 4 siblings. He is the second oldest at 18. His three younger siblings have never attended school. Kumar and his older brother had to drop out to help with the family business.
Kumar’s dad runs a ‘scrap shop.’ He buys and sells old, used items and scrap materials. The rest of the family help — they rummage through discarded litter for material to salvage.
As you can imagine, this is a hard way to make a living. Some days are good, some are bad. The family’s financial situation is unstable, and they struggle to meet even their most basic needs.
When Kumar noticed a few strange patches on his hands, feet, and shoulders he did not know what to do. His family could not afford a doctor, so Kumar lived with the symptoms for 5 years without treatment.
Thankfully, Kumar was able to receive a diagnosis at our partner hospital, The Leprosy Mission Hospital in Naini, at no cost. Due to a 5-year delay in diagnosis and treatment, leprosy exacted a heavy toll on Kumar’s body. He needed advanced care to restore his health.
A late diagnosis and complex interventions are far more costly for Kumar and thousands like him who are suffering needlessly just because they did not receive the accurate diagnosis and treatment in time.