Published 15/03/2019

Our latest blog was written by Waheduzzaman Polu, Project Manager for Lepra Bangladesh in Bogura:

We arranged an exchange visit between Lepra Bangladesh and Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) Mozambique as part of the PRODISA Project. During the course of our visit we visited self-care groups hoping to build connections between these groups and farmer organisations. We also wanted to include livelihood based activities in the self-care groups so that those affected by leprosy could sustainably feed themselves.

We travelled to the Inclusive Self Care Group at Macira, where we were able to meet with the members many of whom are affected by leprosy, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and konzo. They kindly welcomed us by dancing and singing in their native language and performed a short drama about the decreasing prejudice and discrimination in communities towards those affected by leprosy. The members started the meeting discussing the disease, group activities, social work as well as their plans for the future. They told us about the work that the government staff was doing in providing disability care for leprosy, LF and konzo.

I talked about my experience working in Bangladesh with self-help groups and federations and we discussed the implementation of the Nutrition Education Project (NEP), which focuses on improving basic nutrition, the importance of a balanced diet and how to get a balanced diet at a low cost.  We then visited a government health centre which had a wide variety of medication for leprosy as well as complication management facilities.

We visited another self-care group at Ambrose where we were warmly welcomed. The group showed us their ritual of daily self-care at home as well as providing an insight into group support. The group also demonstrated a technique of making low cost compost.

The Bangladeshi group were able to discuss our experience with disability care and complication management for those affected with leprosy and LF. We also talked about awareness within our own communities as well as seeking advice on complication follow up from the self-help group members.

I had a wonderful experience seeing the work of Lepra in Mozambique. The self-care centre was a particular highlight as I was very inspired by the collaborative nature of the group meetings as well as their teamwork. Overall I feel that exchanges are very helpful to gain experience and develop new projects. I really want to thank Lepra UK & NLR Mozambique as well as Lepra Bangladesh for this special exchange visit.

Read more about Lepra Bangladesh's work