Jabbar was 10 years old when he came to the Blue Peter Public Health and Research Centre (BPHRC) for the first time.
He was playing outside his hostel when he heard a voice speaking through a megaphone saying, “If you have skin lesions, come to see us.” This was a member of the BPHRC team conducting a community health awareness campaign in his village.
Jabbar had previously noticed patches on his skin and had been to a local clinic in town. On his first visit, staff at the clinic gave him cream, on the second they asked him for money so Jabbar decided not to go back.
On hearing the message over loudspeaker he walked over a kilometre from his village to BPHRC alone and asked to be checked by Lepra staff. This was January 2000, two months after BPHRC opened.
He says that he was not scared
“I had no idea what it could be”
and that he did not ask his parents to come with him “I could go on my own so I went alone!”
At BPHRC we diagnosed Jabbar with leprosy and provided the cure.
Jabbar still remembers the staff he met on his first visit at BPHRC. Venkatesh (left to Jabbar), Assistant Ulcer care, Anuradha (right to Jabbar), nursing aid and Manikyamma (right on the photo), attender in the clinical division.
All the staff remember Jabbar as an active, sharp child who was very regular in following his treatment, even though most of the time he came alone to BPHRC. Anuradha remembers Jabbar as her 30th case!
In 2000, Jabbar successfully completed his treatment and suffered no complications.
Now 28, Jabbar has a steady livelihood, a wife and two daughters. Thanks to receiving early treatment at BPHRC he has no disabilities and has suffered no discrimination.