My grandfather is associated with an NGO called “Shram Mandir”
This NGO takes in leprosy patients , treats them and teach them various vocations to make them self reliant.
On taking with the directors and the people in charge, I found that, even though curable, this disease has a huge social stigma attached to it.
There were kids abandoned by parents and people abandoned by families who live here even after they are cured, as the family is not ready to accept them back!
Leprosy is not contagious and it has a long incubation period (time before symptoms appear),
Isolating people with this disease in “leper colonies” is not needed, still, isolation is done in large numbers. Instead, they should be taken to proper hospitals where such treatments is available.
surprisingly, its early symptoms are very easily recognisable, and if treated early, there is a good chance of 100% recovery.
The most easily recognisable symptom is that id there is a boil on your body which is lighter than your normal skin colour, and that part has decreased or no sensation to touch, pain or heat than make sure to have yourself tested.
Here I would like to share story of 6-year-old oy Raju. During medical camp at his municipal school, doctor found a boil on his hand which was not responding to heat. Raju’s parents were asked to visit the hospital and undergo a few tests.
Once the tests results were out, it became clear that Raju (Names have een changed to protect the true identities) was suffering from leprosy. Instead of going home, his parents brought his straight to Shram Mandir and aandoned him there. The poor boy was out of his mind with grief as he just could not comprehend where his parents where.
He stayed in the NGO for a few years and with help of proper medications, he was able to eliminate all traces of his disease.
His parents were informed and had to be persuaded to take him back.
It’s strange that when people have TB or cancer, people care for them, but if they have leprosy, they are instantly dumped.
We should be more aware and care for the people with such diseases and not give them more pain than they are already suffering.
And if you see a boil put a drop of hot water on it, if there is no sensation, have yourself checked, immediately.
(THIS POST IS WRITTEN FOR INDIBLOGGER’S “The Moral Of The Story Is…” Contest, check out more entries on My healthy speak blog)