Menu icon

Real life stories

Sabitri's story



Sabitri is in her mid-20s from a village 25km north of Sonepur. She is married and has two daughters aged eight and four.

Whilst she was living with her husband’s family, she noticed a skin patch on her body, but thought nothing of it – she had no pain and didn’t realise that it might be leprosy. After a while, she developed a foot ulcer, but still she felt no pain.

Lepra’s outreach in Sonepur District frequently conduct leprosy case detection campaigns. Staff screen whole communities for leprosy in a bid to interrupt the transmission of the disease. Anyone showing signs or symptoms of the disease is referred for confirmation of diagnosis so that they can start treatment and care as soon as possible. Thankfully, it was in just such a campaign that Lepra’s field coordinator visited Sabitri’s village.

It was immediately apparent that both Sabitri and her eight-year-old daughter, Priyanka, were showing signs of leprosy. On further assessment, it was found that they both had the multi-bacillary (more severe) form of the disease and so they began multidrug therapy (MDT) – a combination of antibiotics taken for 12 months.

At the end of December 2023, Sabitri was admitted as an in-patient at the Sonepur Care Centre to receive specialist ulcer care for her injured foot. Not wanting to be separated from her mother, Sabitri’s four-year-old daughter joined her in staying at the centre. After a week’s stay, and with daily support from the Lepra team, Sabitri’s ulcer was almost healed. She also learnt how to practise self-care to reduce the likelihood of further injuries and ulcers developing.

For the past six months, Sabitri and her daughters have been staying with her parents helping them tend their one-acre plot of land. They will soon return to her husband’s village. Staff at Lepra’s Sonepur Centre will continue supporting the family, ensuring that both Sabitri and Priyanka continue to receive their MDT medication after their move.

Sabitri is very happy and hopeful for the future – she and Priyanka now have the treatment to cure them and ongoing and care. Sabitri knows that if they need further support that Lepra and the Sonepur Centre will always be there for them.

You can make a difference

Your support is vital in helping us continue our work to help the children, women and men affected by neglected diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.

Make a donation

Fundraise for us

together we can #BeatLeprosy