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Farida Aktar

Real life stories

Farida Aktar's story

Farida Aktar

Farida Aktar

Farida Aktar, was a promising young student from Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh.

Despite passing her secondary school certificate exams, she was unable to continue her education because friends, teachers and people in the community had noticed she was developing white skin patches and nodules over her body.

Married at 21, Farida had tried her best to hide her condition, but as symptoms progressed, it was soon noticed by her husband. Through unfounded fear and prejudice, he sent Farida back to her family and she was taken to the Patgram Upazila Health Complex, where Lepra’s community medical team diagnosed her with leprosy. Farida immediately started on a course of multidrug therapy (MDT), to stop the disease progressing further.

Farida’s diagnosis resulted in her husband demanding a divorce and meant that she was shunned by her friends and community. In a great deal of physical and emotional pain, Farida was isolated and began to experience suicidal thoughts.

Lepra quickly identified that Farida needed ongoing support around her mental health and wellbeing and was referred to a local ‘Community Champion’, and to her local community self-support group (SSG). Farida was then able to rebuild her confidence and find new friends and communities who understood her condition and the isolation she faced.

Farida was provided with a sewing machine as part of her person-centered care. This important new occupation not only provided a means of income for her and her family, but also a lifeline which gave her a sense of pride, purpose, and hope for a better future.

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