Sibbu was 11 years old when his parents noticed that his right arm was swollen and tender above the elbow. Two of the fingers on his right hand were also “clawed”. He could not feel anything in the lower part of his arm.

The public healthcare centre at Jorapokhar in Jarkhand State, India, referred Sibbu to our Sparsh (Healing Touch) project. Our staff arranged multidrug therapy and also steroid therapy for three months to reduce the tenderness in Sibbu’s arm.Sibbu, 11

Self-care and exercises were also really important in improving Sibbu’s ability to use his arm.   Cleaning, massage with oil and a daily dressing at home made a real difference to the skin.

After one year of multidrug therapy, Sibbu was cured of leprosy. However, his hand was still clawed. He was studying in school but was shy and tried to hide his disability. Our staff at Sparsh told Sibbu about reconstructive surgery for his hand and he agreed to go ahead with it.

One month of physiotherapy, both before and after the surgery, was essential for success. Sibbu’s hand no longer shows any disability and he can use it well. Surgery was provided free of charge and Sibbu was supported for his basic needs by Tata Steel Rural Development Society, our partners in Sparsh.

Sibbu and his parents are very happy now. He goes to school confidently.