You probably know that leprosy can lead to numb and damaged hands and feet, but did you know that people affected by the disease are often affected by eye problems?

It’s really important that their eyes are examined regularly by expert staff so that loss of sight can be prevented. It is estimated that 13 per cent of people with disabilities caused by leprosy have eye problems.

Damage can be caused by the leprosy bacteria or through nerve damage. Inflammation of the iris can cause glaucoma or cataracts and further problems occur because of paralysis of eyelids.

Lagophthalmos is the name for a problem we have seen in many people we meet. It means that the person cannot close his or her eyelids properly.

This can sometimes be treated with antibiotics, but may require surgery. An eye patch or mask can prevent dirt and dust from irritating eyes.

Anowar Hussain developed leprosy when he was only ten years old. He is now 30 and lives in a small village in Bogra district in Bangladesh.

He lost his job because of leprosy and became depressed and unable to enjoy life with his wife and young daughter.

Through a Lepra self-help group he has learned to care for his ulcers and to wear protective shoes.

He has recently opened a small village shop, helped by a small loan from the group. He is a proud, dignified man. Soon he will have surgery to correct the lagophthalmos in his right eye.

His surgery will cost just £150 but will restore Anowar’s sight and change his life.