Papakanti first noticed she had numb patches and discoloration on her face five years ago. She visited her local healer, who prescribed her with herbal medicine, but this did not work for her.
She spent a lot of time and money travelling from doctor to doctor without receiving any answers. Her skin condition deteriorated during this period.
Eventually, a doctor recognised the symptoms of leprosy and she was sent to one of Lepra’s referral centres. With a mixture of multi drug therapy and steroids, Papakanti began to get better.
The skin on her face became normal once again and the swelling of her joints lessened enough that she could return to work as a cotton picker.
During her treatment, Papakanti felt herself become very depressed. Her husband was very supportive, as were her three children, but she still felt afraid and isolated.
As the medication began to take its effect, Papakanti’s confidence grew and she ventured out into her village once again. Friends began to visit her more often and she even began encouraging others to visit the Lepra referral centre and seek treatment with them.
“Be regular with your medication, be patient, it will work.”