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Ambia Begum

Real life stories

Ambia Begum's story

Ambia Begum

Ambia Begum

45-year-old Ambia Begum first discovered symptoms of lymphatic filariasis (LF) at the age of 15.

She received various treatments from a village doctor, traditional healer, and religious persons but the swelling in her leg became increasingly worse. At the time, she experienced monthly acute attacks of severe pain and fever resulting in her being too ill to work.

After Lepra staff correctly diagnosed Ambia, her husband divorced her, and her daughter remained with him. Ambia now lives with brother’s family in the village of Moheshpur in Barguna sada upasilla.

With support from Lepra’s BLIMP project, Ambia has learnt the importance of self-care, experiences much fewer acute attacks, and has returned to work. She is also an active member of her local self-support group which has helped to improve her mental health and wellbeing.

The BLIMP project provides Morbidity Management and Disability (MMD) prevention through the provision of self-care training for community-based self-support groups, of people affected by LF and regional healthcare staff teams.

There is no simple cure for LF, it requires a sustained regime of self-care, cleaning and regular massaging of the affected area, to gradually reduce the swelling and alleviate the discomfort of the disease. A process which can take many months.

As such, community self-support groups, provide a vital service for people affected by LF, not just for their physical recovery, but also for their emotional resilience and social health.

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