Jahanara Begum knows all too well the hardship that leprosy can bring. Her father, Arob Ali, was affected by leprosy for many years before he was able to access treatment.
Now he is cured and works hard as a rickshaw puller to provide for his family. Earlier this year, Jahanara also began to share that burden and contribute to the household when she became one of our Community Champions.
Spurred on by the memories of seeing her father endure the effects of leprosy, she wanted to prevent others from going through the same.
“I don’t want anybody to suffer like my father,” says Jahanara.
Straight out of school she joined our Health System Strengthening Project in Habiganj Sadar upazila.
As a volunteer, she works to increase community awareness around diseases like leprosy and also helps to implement various project activities such as self-care demonstrations.
So far Jahanara has referred 85 people showing signs of leprosy to the upazila health complex. Out of those, 20 were diagnosed with leprosy and began treatment. That’s 20 people whose lives Jahanara has changed.
“I always try to do something for the helpless people. HSS project has given me the opportunity. I am really grateful to Lepra Bangladesh.”
Without such wonderful people helping us to raise awareness and look out for leprosy cases, we wouldn’t be able to improve the lives of so many.
It costs just £15 to train a Community Champion to recognise symptoms of leprosy and refer them.