"’You have to leave our home"
Created 1 | Supported 3
12 of 50
"Girls like Chamolee with Leprosy, rejected by their family, often can't reach help. We can change this! #VanPlan http://hdtk.co/K9jTZ"
— leprosymissionireland and 12 other supporters
Chamolee's Story: "You have to leave our home.""When my mother and father saw that I had leprosy, they said, 'You have to leave our home. You have a terrible disease, and if you don't leave many others will get sick...'"
What is Plan for a Van?On average, we walk the equivalent of 4.5 times around the Earth over our lifetime. Imagine doing this on severely damaged feet:
Problem: Vulnerable and injured feet...Leprosy is an ancient disease, which destroys sensory nerve tissue. People are excluded from society and often unable to access healthcare, though leprosy is completely curable. It leads to ulcers on the feet, worsened by the lack of sensation. Without treatment and correct footwear, such ulcers can cause permanent damage and even amputation. To cushion and protect their feet from injury, allowing them to keep walking, a person affected by leprosy needs two pairs of specially-fitted shoes each year. For feet with major damage, such shoes require the expertise of a trained shoe technician based on observations and careful advice of a physiotherapist.
Elephantiasis is a severe swelling of the lower limbs brought about by lymphatic filariasis (LF), a parasitic infection of lymph vessels spread by mosquitoes. This leads to serious pain, eventual inability to walk and the person being excluded from society due to their appearance. Foot injury due to inadequate footwear causes acute fever and infection. This has a significant impact on earning capacity, devastating poor households. However, specialist individual footwear can help protect damaged feet, increase mobility, and restore confidence in social situations.
Yet, these solutions are presently only available to people fortunate enough to live in accessible locations. Those in remote rural locations, with no form of transport except walking on damaged feet, have little or no access to this healthcare.
Solution: An integrated mobile health vanThe mobile unit is a newly-conceived programme by our partner organisations Lepra and Sum Utthan (the forum for people affected by leprosy in the Bihar state, East India), supported by the Leprosy Mission Ireland. Lepra already owns a van, which can be converted into the mobile unit.
It would be able to reach out to people in remote locations with disabilities, particularly those in leprosy colonies and those stigmatised by lymphatic filariasis, where location and discrimination prevent them from accessing the healthcare and footwear services they need. The newly-converted van will move around the Bihar state, dressing dangerous ulcers, training individuals in self-care and providing special, protective footwear at no cost to the local people, for which Lepra has 20 years' worth of experience.
Budget: What the money contributes to...
Change a life: How much to help 1 person?This is Indrakhala. When her family discovered she had leprosy, she was forced to sleep outside; they would hit her if she came near them. Yet the very condition they rejected her for is completely curable. It was only when her situation was discovered that she could receive care, a cure and a hope of being re-integrated with her family. Thousands of people in India are suffering from leprosy and lymphatic filariasis without being properly diagnosed or referred to treatment. It is for this reason that a mobile health unit is so essential – it can reach these people who would otherwise be forgotten.
With this initiative, just €12.44 can help permanently transform someone's life. Please help us to reach our target and transform the lives of more people such as Indrakhala.
About us: Find out more about us at www.leprosymission.ie, and our partner, Lepra, at www.lepra.org.uk