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Mr Shaik Musthafa

Real life stories

Mr Shaik Musthafa's story

Mr Shaik Musthafa

Mr Shaik Musthafa

In August 2022, Jimmy had the pleasure of meeting Mr Shaik Musthafa, 40 years old father of three children, from Chillakallu, Andra Pradesh, India. 

In 2018, Mr Musthafa started to notice pain, and problems moving his left hand. On the advice of a local medic, he made contact with Lepra’s community team, who carried out a Nerve Function Assessment (NFA).  

Suspecting that he may be experiencing symptoms associated with leprosy, the team referred  him to the local Primary Health Centre (PHC) for formal diagnosis and medication.  

The health centre staff conducted a skin biopsy and Mr Musthafa was diagnosed with multibacillary (MB) leprosy. He was started on a 12-month course of multidrug therapy (MDT). 

During follow-up visits, it was discovered that despite MDT treatment, his hand was showing significant nerve damage, which would lead to permanent disability without further intervention.  

He was referred him to Kathipudi Hospital for reconstructive surgery, and Lepra’s local physiotherapist taught Mr Musthafa pre-operative exercises, which helped him maintain as much mobility as possible prior to the operation.  

He received the vital operation in 2019 which partially corrected the loss of function in his hand. After the surgery, Lepra provided post-operative physiotherapy exercises to aid his successful recovery.  

As a manual labourer, he was however left unable to continue with such physically demanding work. So during his recovery, Mr Musthafa looked for new opportunities to help him support his family. 

With Lepra’s help, Mr Musthafa was able to secure a small investment through the socio-economic rehabilitation fund, to allow him to start his own small business.  

With this support, he was able to purchase the goods and products he needed from a wholesale market, to start a small electrical shop in Jaggaiahpeta, selling a range of popular items to his local community. He is already making enough money to support his family and his children are receiving a good education. 

When asked if he had faced any discrimination since opening his shop, Mr Musthafa said: 

“Oh, no! This is just a small disease, like any other disease that you can be cured of.” 

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