The facts:

BOLEP is one of our longest running projects having been established in 1990 when Sonepur district was the highest leprosy affected area in the world. The project covers six blocks of the Sonepur district and two blocks of the Boudh district, both in the state of Odisha.

The key problems in these areas are high prevalence of leprosy, high numbers of people with leprosy disabilities, an inadequate general health system and the stigma and discrimination those with leprosy experience.

The aim:

The purpose of this project is to ensure better access to information, quality health and disability services with the attainment of basic rights and entitlements for people affected by leprosy.

We also aim to increase early case detection, to decrease the number of people experiencing a disability, strengthen the provision of disability services and empower people affected by leprosy to access to government services and entitlements.

What exactly are we doing?

Over the years, staff have transformed the buildings and land here into a tranquil environment offering people a place to stay while they go through physiotherapy prior to reconstructive surgery. These people have been affected by leprosy and our staff here do all they can to alleviate the physical burden this disease has put upon them.

You can read here how BOLEP has helped Bhumisuta.

The project also looks at the specific needs of women, children and men living in remote areas, those with disabilities and those who are particularly vulnerable.  They do this by conducting studies to specifically identify various issues.

Staff also venture out into the blocks to examine villages for leprosy and reach out to hidden cases increasing case detection. School health education has also been planned to contribute to child case detection.

To strengthen the roles and responsibilities of ASHAs, the project also runs training programmes for them. These staff then provide counselling and help self-support groups work on their own issues.

So far…

In span of 24 years, BOLEP has contributed in the detection of a total of 27,612 leprosy cases that includes 14,812 men, 8,033 women and 4,767 children. The project has contributed drastically in increasing the case detection in this area.

How you can help?

With £11 our BOLEP team can organise for a theatre group to visit a local village and perform a story which incorporates some health education messages about leprosy. It’s a great way to educate those in hard to reach areas and ensures the messages stick in people’s minds so they know what to if they present with symptoms of leprosy.