Life in a leprosy colony

For children, women and men living in a leprosy colony life can be tough but you can make it a little easier.

Sudpada leprosy colony consists of a small community which sits on the top of a hill, completely ostracised from the town’s main activity. The few buildings belonging to the colony are crumbling away and the rubble and rocky slopes make it difficult to navigate, especially for those with disabilities.

The members of the colony live together in small mud huts and rely on begging for income, however their visible disabilities and the stigma surrounding leprosy often means they are treated badly.

It’s not just the people affected by leprosy who live in leprosy colonies. Nagama moved into Sudpada, despite being heavily pregnant, to look after her mother and grandmother who have both become blind as the result of leprosy. Without Nagama, they would struggle to support themselves.

Improving lives this World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day takes place on the last Sunday in January with the aim to raise awareness of the disease and highlight the work being done to combat it.

With your help, we are able to ensure that those living in colonies like Nagama and her family, are getting regular visits from a healthcare worker. They visit the colony once a week and can dress ulcers that may have developed as a result of nerve damage. They also teach the residents to care for any affected body parts so that the risk of infection or further disability is reduced.

It costs just £32 for a healthcare worker to run a disability care camp in a colony, teaching people how to care for their limbs and avoid infections and further disabilities.

Or just £3 a month could provide enough self care kits to allow 12 people living in a leprosy colony to care for parts of their body damaged by leprosy for one year.

Without your help, people in leprosy colonies will continue to be ignored and shunned by society.

Providing access to education

Although Nagama may not endure the disease itself or the physical effects of leprosy, it has still robbed her of her freedom. The son she has just given birth to will already be limited by the stigma associated with the disease that affects his grandmother and great grandmother.

£60 can help a child living in a leprosy colony escape a life of extreme poverty by supporting their education, providing them with transportation and supplying them with the materials they need. This helps children to fulfil their potential.

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