When Sabiha Akhter was just 6 years old her mother noticed a reddish patch on Sabiha’s elbow and took her to the doctor. But, the doctor misdiagnosed her, and so the patch continued to grow.

Three years later, on World Leprosy Day 2017, Sabiha’s mother attended one of our community awareness events  in her village in Bangladesh.

After learning that Sabiha’s symptoms may be leprosy she brought her daughter to one of our referral centres, where we diagnosed her correctly and provided her with the treatment.

Sabiha’s mother was very thankful that Sabiha had been diagnosed quickly and said:

“I have seen how leprosy affects people. Luckily, my daughter started treatment in time, with the help of Lepra and will recover completely.”

Pictured right: Sabiha and her mother

One year on, Sabiha has now finished taking the medicine and due to the early diagnosis she has developed no disabilities and is now completely cured.

“I was really surprised when I came to know that the pale colour patch is the sign of a disease,” she says. “It made me panic hearing it was leprosy; my parents thought it would separate me from the society. But the health workers from Lepra assured us.

 

They said leprosy can be cured and the treatment is free of cost. I never missed taking a single dose of medicine because if I didn’t take medicine regularly, I may have become disabled. Now I am completely cured and I am really grateful to Lepra for their support.”

Pictured: Sabiha on her way to school in December 2017. Sabiha, now ten years old, has been completely cured and has no disability, thanks to early diagnosis and treatment.

Without the visit from our team, her story could have been very different.

Sadly there are still so many communities which are unaware of leprosy and its symptoms, meaning many children and adults are living with un-diagnosed leprosy, with no knowledge they have the disease, or too afraid to come forward to obtain treatment.

Please help more children like Sabiha receive early diagnosis

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