Manikyamma grew up in a leprosy colony in India.
Both her parents were diagnosed and treated for leprosy and she grew up understanding that it was a curable disease. She was diagnosed in 2000 with leprosy, after spending years working in the Lepra guesthouse in Secunderabad.
She had developed a pale patch of skin on her hand and was diagnosed immediately.
Growing up with parents that had leprosy made her diagnosis a lot easier to handle.
She was started on multi drug therapy immediately and followed Lepra’s advice on self-care and prevention of disabilities. Manikyamma was very lucky because she did not suffer any discrimination.
After being cured, Manikyamma became a lab attendant at the Blue Peter Public Health Centre and was then trained to become a lab assistant. She has worked there ever since.
She says she is happy that she can share her experience of leprosy with others and that she can make people more comfortable about their diagnosis.
She says, “There is no need to be worried about the disease. It can be cured through regular medication and treatment.”
You can help women like Manikyamma get the help they need, and help enable them to make a difference for others.