Mandula first realised something was wrong when he began developing deformities in his hands and feet.
At the time, he lived in a house with 20 family members. He visited a private doctor a few times but it was expensive and amounted to nothing. He was misdiagnosed and his deformities worsened to the point that he was no longer able to work as an agricultural labourer. He visited Lepra’s Blue Peter Public Health and Research Centre and was diagnosed with leprosy.
He was prescribed multi drug therapy for 12 months. Mandula’s father had leprosy many years ago and suffered serious deformities as a result.
Mandula was afraid he would also suffer deformities and hid away from his family and friends. His family, however, were understanding and supportive. They did not discriminate against him and helped him care for his feet.
He is now working as an agricultural labourer again, but he cannot always protect his hands in the fields. He now refers people to Lepra with suspected leprosy. He says that people should take their medicine and that they will get better.