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New ruling in Bihar will improve the lives of people living with lymphatic filariasis New ruling in Bihar will improve the lives of people living with lymphatic filariasis

New ruling in Bihar will improve the lives of people living with lymphatic filariasis

17 October 2023

A new local government ruling will make a huge difference to the lives of the thousands of people living with lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Bihar, India. 

Bihar has one of the highest rates of LF in India. LF can cause swelling of body parts and alter the immune system. For many, the impact of the disease can leave them unable to work, with no income and unable to support their families. Previously, people in the state diagnosed with LF were not entitled to any benefits.

Bihar Government’s implementation of a ‘disability certificate’ for people living with LF, comes as a great relief to all who are eligible.

Rajni Kant Singh, State Coordinator for Lepra Society explains:

“People affected by LF in Bihar will now have greater financial empowerment and improved well-being. They will receive all social welfare benefits (toilet, housing scheme, education support, free electricity connection) declared by the Government of Bihar.

Those eligible will receive a unique disability identity card enabling access to national health insurance scheme benefits and concessions for local transport. They will also be entitled to a pension.

The ruling will greatly support the reduction of prejudice and discrimination in the region.”

Since 2008, Lepra has been working collectively in Bihar to influence local government support for people affected by LF along with raising awareness and providing treatment in the community.

Lepra staff will ensure that those eligible are aware of all the benefits they are entitled to and support them to apply.

Last year, Lepra diagnosed and provided care for 9,842 people affected by LF, helping to support them through the physical, emotional, social and economic impact of this disease.

Rajni Kant Singh adds:

“We will campaign for the formation of a state level forum of people affected by LF enabling them to have a voice and stand up for their rights.”

New ruling in Bihar will improve the lives of people living with lymphatic filariasis