One such person to benefit from the SAMARTH project is Ms Priti Pal, a 17 year old from Manuriya village, Madhya Pradesh.
From a household of 7, Priti and her family are migrant labourers, reliant on finding temporary, low paid work in the cities. Health inequalities for vulnerable groups such as migrant workers can mean that many people can struggle to receive the care they need in time to prevent disabilities.
Priti first noticed symptoms 5 years before she was contacted by Lepra’s SAMARTH coordinator in August 2022. A lack of early treatment resulted in disabilities forming in her fingers and hands. Through fear and prejudice, she had become introverted, refusing to leave the family home and was clearly struggling with the emotional impact of her condition.
Lepra arranged for staff from the hospital’s leprosy department to visit her at home, where she was diagnosed and started immediate treatment with multidrug therapy (MDT).
To help Priti overcome the emotional impact of leprosy, SAMARATH arranged for ongoing personalised care from the project staff and close support from an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist), a trained volunteer from her local community who helped Priti access her local self-support group, which has been key to helping her regain confidence and find new hope for the future.
Through the support of the project, Priti is now making a great recovery, both physically and mentally. She is also receiving disability financial support from the government which is helping her overcome the socio-economic impact of her diagnosis, and allowing her to focus on a full recovery, and a brighter future.