Adilabad district is in the northern tip of Telangana state in India with a population of 2,741,000. Our goal of this project is to enable women, children and men affected by leprosy, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and other neglected diseases to transform their lives by overcoming poverty and prejudice.
We aim to do this by:
  • Promoting early and improved case detection of leprosy, LF and TB among women and children
  • Preventing disability and halting the worsening of existing disability among people affected by the two diseases
  • Empowering people to access their rights and social benefits from the government

Community volunteers play a key role in our work in eight tribal blocks. Most of the people who live there know very little about leprosy or LF and many believe that disease is a curse, a punishment from the gods.

Healthcare centres are not accessible from the villages. Three hundred local volunteers in 291 villages are trained to detect leprosy and we estimate that 90 more people will be diagnosed, start the free treatment to cure the disease and receive ulcer care and treatment.

In the Asifabad division of Adilabad, around 900 people (65% women, 35% men, 5% children) have already been identified as affected by lymphatic filariasis, sometimes known as elephantiasis. We anticipate that 1,000 people will be enrolled with us for management of the effects of the disease.

Lymphoedema (swelling of the legs) is a common symptom of LF which not only causes physical disability but also a reluctance to take part in community activities because of shame, embarrassment and the stigma attracted by the physical signs.

Careful management of lymphoedema can greatly reduce the swelling and allow people to return work or school. We encourage self-care at home, so we demonstrate massage, cleaning and elevation of the leg as well as providing special shoes for protection.

Our outreach camps are essential to share information, raise awareness of diseases and reduce the stigma caused by ignorance and long-held myths.