Cure and Care
Every year, thousands of Canadians offer hope by sponsoring the cure for one person affected by leprosy.
The journey to hope begins when a person hears the words, “you have leprosy.” Though it may be painful to hear, many have already been suffering from the consequences of the disease for years. Leprosy can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because many do not have access to the care of a trained and equipped health-care professional who can make the correct diagnosis.
Accurate and early detection of leprosy is the best way to prevent negative long-term health and social complications. Unfortunately, detection often happens at a later stage, when the physical indicators and symptoms have persisted for some time. At this point, the disease has begun to destroy the body’s nervous system and most of the damage can never be repaired.
Too often, people with leprosy spend years of their life misdiagnosed, and receiving unsuccessful traditional treatments.
Identifying cases earlier could have a dramatic impact on leprosy at the personal level, and for the elimination of the disease generally. With more education of local health authorities and the general population, leprosy could be discovered and treated before it becomes a personal ordeal.
Journey of Hope:
Curing and caring is so much more than medicine and surgery to correct physical disabilities. It is care of the whole person.
1) Detection and Diagnosis – Staff and trained community volunteers refer suspected cases to clinics and hospitals for testing and proper diagnosis.
2) Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) – A blend of drugs that kills all known strains of leprosy bacteria. Patients receive MDT for 6 months to two years.
3) Surgery – Repairs tissue damage, foot-drop, clawed hands and can restore eyelid function.
4) Rehabilitation – Massage and physiotherapy can help restore use of hands and feet.
5) Education – Patients learn how to protect their health, as leprosy leaves people vulnerable to infection and loss of limb.
6) Self-care – Feeling can never be restored to hands and feet, leprosy-recovered people learn to soak their feet, and oil their skin regularly to keep it soft. They will check daily for wounds.
7) Community and Family Restoration – Where necessary, staff work with community leaders and family members to reduce stigma and repair relationships.
8) Life Skills – Through skill-development, vocational training and/or promotion of patient self-determination through micro-financing, self-help and self-care groups, many affected by leprosy are able to build a normal life post-cure.
There is a global will to eliminate leprosy. Imagine eliminating a disease in our lifetime. Click on the image below to learn more.