The facts:

This is a rolling year-long project that we have operating in the states of Bihar, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. These three states experience high numbers of leprosy and LF cases and so we aim to reduce the number of these cases and increase early detection so fewer people are foreced to live with a life-long disability.

There are two components to this project and the first involves the implementation of the NTD Referral Units that  offer disability services and shoe units.

The second component involves providing technical support and training to local governments. That means helping them deliver campaigns that will diagnose these diseases. We offer our expertise in the hope that we can find more people affected and improve their lives. This applies to  leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF) but this project also looks at preventing visceral leishmaniasis (VL).

These projects directly contribute to our goal to reduce the disease burden of leprosy and LF and to prevent disease-related disabilities amongst marginalised communities.

The aim:

The focus of this project is to reach out to people affected by neglected diseases (especially women and children) in the hope that we can help them live a life with dignity overcoming poverty, stigma and discrimination. There are also more specific goals we aim to achieve and they include:

  1. Ensuring access to timely treatment, care and support for those experiencing LF and leprosy
  2. Increasing early case detection for leprosy, LF and VL
  3. Improving the skills and capacities of government health staff
  4. Enhancing access to government schemes and entitlements and reducing stigma and discrimination

What exactly are we doing?

To do this we teach self-care practices within communities and work with the existing healthcare services to improve detection and the access people have to screening services and treatment.

We also provide our custom-made footwear to those whose feet have been affected by leprosy or LF. Training government staff to recognise the symptoms of such diseases is also important and this improves the likelihood of detecting cases much earlier before disability sets in.

We also perform hydrocele surgeries to alleviate the swelling of testes as caused by LF.

Advocacy meetings and events take place and self-help groups will be encouraged to advocate for their disability rights.

How you can help?

Hydrocele surgery costs around £60 and is something men affected by LF often need. Without it mobility becomes difficult and the extreme swelling begins to affect confidence, home life and an individual’s ability to work. You can read more about our work in hydrocele here.